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^=^2^n^<^n. : ^A.t/riJtJ /c-V ^.^'Mau^rna^. a/n^y/ne efAel t^yrcAUet7*'ui,M''22. 



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ELEGANT EFISTLES 



/ 



A COPIOUS COLLECTION 



OF 

FAMILIAR AND AMUSING LETTERS, 

SELECTED FOR THE 

IMPROVEMENT OF YOUNG PERSONS, 

AND FOR 

GENERAL ENTERTAINMENT, 



CICERO, 


POPE, 


LUXBOROUGH, 


RICHARDSON, 


PLINY, 


SWIFT, 


WEST, 


YOUNG, 


SYDNEY, 


ADDISON, 


STERNE, 


LADY M. W. MONTAGUE 


BACON, 


STEELE, 


CHATHAiM, 


ELIZABETH MONTAGU, 


RALEIGH, 


ARBUTHNOT, 


JOHNSON, 


SEWARD, 


HOWEL, 


GAY, 


LYTTLETON, 


WARBURTON, 


RUSSELL, 


ATTERBURY, 


CHESTERFIELD, 


HURD, 


CLARENDON, 


TILLOTSON, 


GIBBON. 


FOX, 


TEMPLE, 


SHENSTONE, 


COWPER, 


WALPOLE,. 


LOCKE, 


SOMERSET, 


BEATTIE, 


FRANKLIN, 


SHAFTESBURY, 


GRAY, 


JONES, 


AND OTHERS. 



Absentes adsunt. — Cic. 
A NEW EDITION, CORRECTED AND IMPROVED. 



LONDON: 

Printed for F. C. and J, Rivington ; J. Nunn ; J. Cuthell ; J. and W. T. Clarke ; T. Cadell ; J. Scatcherd ; Longman 
and Co.; Lackington and Co. ; Boosey and Sons ; J. and A. Arch; John Richardson ; J.M.Richardson; E. Coy; 
Newman and Co.; Lloyd and Son; J. Booker; S. Bagster; Harvey and Darton; Black, Kingsbury, and Co.; 
W. Baynes and Son; E.Williams; W. Stewart; J. Mawman ; H.T.Hodgson; J. Booth; Hatchard and Son; 
W. GiLger; R. Scholey; T. Tegg; Baldwin and Co.; Sherwood and Co.; Taylor and Hessey; J. Bohn ; 
R. Saunders; C. Brown; W.Mason; Ogle and Co.; T.Hamilton; J.Robinson; G. and W. B. WTiittaker; 
Edwards and Knibb; J. Collingwood; Cowie and Co.; Simpkin and Marshall; G. Mackie; T. Hughes; 
R. Hill ; J. Arnould; J. Hearne ; C. Taylor ; Wilson and Sons, York; and Stirling and Slade, Edinburgh. 

Frinted hy Charles Wood, Poppins Court, Fleet Street. 
1822. 



rR 






Mc 



Library of Congross 
By tranefor from 
State Department. 
MAY 3 1 1327 



P R E F A C E, 



The following Collection of Letters is a part of a design, which the Editor had 
formed, to select and publish, in large volumes, such compositions, both in 
verse and prose, as he judged might be useful to young persons, by conducing 
to their improvement in their own language, while they were cultivating an 
acquaintance with the ancients, and pursuing all other accomplishments of a 
liberal education. 

The first two parts of his plan, Elegant Extracts in Prose and Poetry, already 
published, and repeatedly printed, have been received with a degree of favour, 
which evinces that the preconceived idea of their utility has been amply con- 
firmed by the decisions of experience. 

Animated by their good reception, the Editor determined to proceed in his 
design, and to add, in a similar volume, a copious Collection of Letters. It 
occurred to him, that no literary exercise is in such constant request as Letter- 
writing. All are not to be Poets, Orators, or Historians ; but all, at least above 
the lowest rank, are to be sometimes Letter-writers. The daily intercourse of 
common life cannot be duly preserved without this mode of communication. 
That much pleasure, and much advantage, of various kinds, is derived from it, 
is obvious and incontestable. Every emergence furnishes occasion for it. It 
is necessary to friendship, and to love ; to interest, and to ambition. In every 
pureuit, and in every department of polished life, to write Letters is an indis- 
pensable requisite; and to write them well, a powerful recommendation. By 
epistolary correspondence the most important business, commercial, political, 
and private, is usually transacted. Who is there, who at some period of his 
life, finds it not of consequence to him to draw up an address with propriety, 
to narrate an event, to describe a character faithfully, or to write letters of 
compliment, condolence, or congratulation ? Many natives of this country 
spend their youth in foreign climes. How greatly does it contribute to raise 
their characters at home, when they are able to write correct and judicious 
letters to their relations, their friends, their patrons, and their employers ? A 
clear, a discreet, and an elegant letter, establishes their character in their native 
country, while perhaps their persons are at the distance of the antipodes, raises 
esteem among all who read it, and often lays a foundation for future emi- 
nence. It goes before them, like a pioneer, and smooths the road, and levels 
the hill that leads up to honour and to fortune. 

Add to these considerations, that, as an easy exercise to improve the style, 
and prepare for that composition, which several of the professions require, no- 

a 2 



IV 



PREFACE. 



thing is more advantageous than the practice of Letter-writing at an 
early age. 

In every view of the subject, Letter-writing appeared to the Editor so useful 
and important, that he thought he could not render a more acceptable service 
to young students than to present them with a great variety of epistolary 
MODELS, comprised^ for their more convenient use, in one capacious volume. 
Models in art are certainly more instructive than rules; as examples in life are 
more efficacious than precepts. Rules, indeed, for Letter-writing, of which 
there is a great abundance, appear to be little more than the idle effusions of 
pedantry ; the superfluous inventions of ingenuity misemployed. The Letters, 
which the writers of rules have given as examples for imitation, are often no- 
thing more than mere centos in the expression, and servile copies in the senti- 
ments. They have nothing in them of the healthy hue and lively vigour of 
nature. They resemble puny plants raised in a clime ungenial, by the 
gardener's incessant labour, yet possessing, after all, neither beauty, flavour, 
noT stamina for duration. 

The few rules necessary in the art, as it is called, of Letter-writing, are 
such as will always be prescribed to itself by a competent share of common 
sense, duly informed by a common education. A regard must always be 
shewn to time, place, and person. He, who has good sense, will of course 
observe these things; and he who has it not will not learn to observe them by 
the rules of rhetoricians. But to assist invention and to promote order, it 
may be sometimes expedient to make, in the mind, a division of a Letter into 
three parts, the Aristotelian beginning, middle, and end : or, in other words, 
into the exordium or introduction, the statement, proposition, or narrative, 
and the conclusion. 

The exordium or introduction should be employed, not indeed with the for- 
mality of rhetoric, but with the ease of natural politeness and benevolence, in 
conciliating esteem, favour, and attention; the proposition or narrative, in 
stating the business with clearness and precision; the conclusion, in confirming 
what has been premised, in making apologies, in extenuating offence, and in 
cordial expressions of respect and affection ; but is there any thing in these 
precepts not already obvious to common sense ? 

As to the epistolary style, of which so much has been said, those who wish 
to confine it to the easy and familiar have formed too narrow ideas of epistolary 
composition. The Epistle admits every subject: and every subject has its 
appropriate style. Ease is not to be confounded with negligence. In the 
most familiar Letter on the commonest subject an Attic neatness is required. 
Ease in writing, like ease in dress, notwithstanding all its charms, is but too 
apt to degenerate to the carelessness of the sloven. In the daily attire of a 
gentleman, gold lace may not be requisite ; but rags or filth are not to be 
borne. In the face, paint is not to be approved ; but cleanliness cannot be 
neglected, without occasioning still greater disgust than rouge and ceruse. 
That epistolary style is clearly the best, whether easy or elaborate, simple or 



PREFACE. V 

adorned, which is best adapted to the subject, to time, to place, and to person . 
which upon grave and momentous topics is solemn and dignified; on common 
themes, terse, easy, and only not careless ; on little and trifling niatters, gay, 
airy, lively, and facetious; on jocular subjects, sparkling and humorous; in 
formal and complimentary addresses, embellished with rhetorical figures, and 
finished with polished periods; in persuasion, bland, insinuating, and ardent; 
in exhortation, serious and sententious; on prosperous affairs, open and joyous; 
on adverse, pensive and tender. A different style is often necessary on the 
same topics, to old people and to young; to men and to women; to rich and 
to poor; to the great and to the little; to scholars and to the illiterate; to 
strangers and to familiar companions. And thus indeed might one proceed to 
great extent, with all the parade ©f precept; but though this, and much more 
that might be repeated, may be certainly true, yet it is all sufficiently obvious 
to that COMMON SENSE, whose claims ought at all times to be asserted against 
the encroachments of pedantic tyranny*. 

A good understanding, as it has been already observed^ improved by reading 
the best writers, by accurate observation of men and manners, and, above all, 
by use and practice^ will be sufficient to form an accomplished Letter-writer, 
without restraining the vigour of his genius, and the flights of his fancy, by a 
rigid observance of the line and rule. The best Letters, and indeed the best 
compositions of every kind, were produced before the boasted rules to teach 
how to write them were written or invented. The rules prescribed by critics 
for writing Letters are so minute and particular as to remind one of the recipes 
in Hannah Glasse's Cookery. They pretend to teach how to express thoughts 
on paper with a mechanical process, similar to that in which the culinary 
authoress instructs her disciples in the composition of a minced-pie. 

It is indeed a remark confirmed by long experience, that merchants, men 
of business, and particularly the ladies, who have never read, or even heard of 
the rules of an Erasmus, a Vives, a Melchior Junius, or a Lipsius, write 
Letters with admirable ease, perspicuity, propriety, and elegance ; far better, 

* The writers on the Epistolary Art divide Episdes into various kinds : 

EPISTOLJE SUNT, 

Commendatitia — Communicatoria — Cohortatoria, — quo pertinent Suasorits, DissuasoricE — Peti- 
toria — Consolatoria — Officios^ — Conciliatoria — MandatoricB — Gratulatoria — Laudator ia — 
JReprehensoria — Gratiarum actiones — Nuncupatoria sen Dedicatorie — Accusatoria seu Expos- 
tulat&riiB — Querula et Indignatoria — ComminatoricE — Nunciatorice — DenunciatoricB — Jocosce. 

But these distinctions display more of ostentation than they furnish of utility. Every man 
of sense must know the tendency of his Letter, from which it takes its technical name, 
though he may not have heard the rhetorician's appellation of it. To persons, however, wha 
read with a critical eye, it may not be unpleasant to class letters under some of the titles in 
the above table, which it would be easy to enlarge. 

I refer the reader, who is curious to learn what critics have written on the art of writing 
letters, to Erasmus's very ingenious treatise, " De conscribendis EplstoUs" where he will 
find much to entertain him. The genius of Erasmus diffuses a sunshine over the dreary 
fields of didactic information. 



vi PREFACE. 

in every respect, than some of the most celebrated dictators of rules to teach 
that epistolary correspondence, which themselves could never successfully 
practise. The learned Manutius, who had studied every rule, used to employ 
a month in writing a Letter of moderate length, which many an English lady 
could surpass in an hour. 

It may not be improper in this place to mention, for the honour of the 
ladies, that, according to learned authors, the very first Letter ever written 
was written by a lady. Clemens Alexandrinus^ and Tatian also, who copies 
from Hellanicus the historian*, expressly affirm, that the first epistle ever 
composed was the production of Atossa, a Persian empress. The learned 
Dodwell, as well as others, controverts the fact ; and many suppose, that the 
Letter which Homer's Prsetus gave to Bellerophon, as well as that which 
David sent to accomplish the death of Uriah, preceded the Letter of Atossa. 
Without entering into a chronological discussion, one may assert the proba- 
bility, that a lady was the first writer of Letters ; as ladies have, in modern 
times, displayed peculiar grace and spirit in epistolary correspondence. Dod- 
well's opinion required not the learning of Dodwell to support it, when he 
supposes that epistles were written, in some form or other, as soon as the art of 
marking thoughts by written signs was discovered and divulged. 

But instead of dwelling any longer on topics, either obvious of themselves, 
or rather curious than useful, it is more expedient to inform the Reader what 
he is to expect in the subsequent volume. 

The First Book in the Collection is formed from the Letters of Cicero and 
Pliny. To attempt to raise their characters by praises at this period, after 
the world has agreed in the admiration of them near two thousand years, 
would be no less superfluous than to pronounce an eulogium on the sun, or to 
describe the beauties of the rainbow. From them a few of their most enter- 
taining Letters, and such as have a reference to familiar life, have been prin- 
cipally selected ; and there is little doubt, but that an attentive student, not 
deficient in ability, may catch, from the perusal of what is here inserted, much 
of their politeness, both of sentiment and expression. If he possesses taste, 
he must be entertained by them. It is but justice to add, that great praise is 
due to the translator, whose polished understanding seems to have assimilated 
the grace of his celebrated originals. 

The next Book consists of Letters from many great and distinguished per- 
sons of our own nation, written at an early period of English literature. 

The correspondence of the Sydney family forms one part of it. To the 
generality of readers this will be new and curious, as it was never published but 
in expensive folios. The Sydney family appear to have been, in their time, 
the most enlightened, polished, and virtuous, which the nation could boast. 
Many of their Letters are written in a strong, a nervous, and, in many respects, 
an excellent style for the age ; and all that are here selected may be considered 

* E7ri<7ToAaf crmruffauv sfeu^Ei; y, Utgau), wore r,yriaa[xm) yui/7,, Ka^Knt^ <pn(nv 'EKKccviHog, AT05-<r« 

h 'jvo/j.u Kuiyj )ji/. Tatian. Oiat. contra Graecos. 



PREFACE. vii 

as curiosities, furnishing noatter for speculation on the language and customs of 
persons in high rank, at the period in which they were composed. It is a 
recommendation of them, that they are genuine Family Letters, not studiously 
laboured, like those of professed Wits and Letter- writers, but written in perfect 
confidence, and without the least idea of their future publication. But as old 
language is certainly not a model for young students in the present day, it 
must be remembered, that this compilation professes, in its title page, to be 
designed for general entertainment, as well as for the perusal and im- 
provement of those who are in the course of their education. 

The Letters of the celebrated Howel*, which form another considerable 
portion of the Second Book, cannot fail of affording, in addition to the in- 
struction of the student, much amusement to the more advanced reader, who 
inspects the volume merely to pass away his vacant hours, Howers Letters 
were, at one time, extremely popular. They have passed through many 
editions. Their wit, vivacity, and frankness, render them more pleasing than 
many more modern and more exact compositions. Several celebrated Collec- 
tions of Letters, more correct and finished, have in them less wit, less fire, 
less spirit, fewer ideas, and scantier information. 

Lady Rachel Russell's Letters are inserted in the Second Book, and must 
be allowed to constitute a very useful and ornamental part of it. They have 
been much admired by persons of taste and sensibility, both for their thoughts 
and their diction. Piety and conjugal affection, expressed in language, con- 
sidering the time of its composition, so pure and proper, cannot but afford 
a fine example to the female aspirants after delicacy, virtue, taste, and what- 
ever is excellent and laudable in the wife, the widow, and the mother. Such 
patterns in high life cannot fail of becoming beneficial in proportion as they 
are more known and better observed. 

The very names indeed of those, whose Letters furnish this and the remain- 
ing Books, are of themselves a sufficient recommendation of them. To dwell 
on the character and excellencies of each would be to abuse the Reader's 
patience. Most of them are of that exalted and established rank, which 
praise cannot now elevate, nor censure degrade. It is proper to remark, that 
a very considerable number of Letters recently published have now been added 

* The following is the opinion of Morhof, a learned critic, concerning the Letters of Howel, 
which were first published in 1645 : — 

'* Non debent hie quoque omitti Jacobi Howel, Equitis Angli, et Secretarii Regii, Epis- 
tola familiares . . . Mixta hie sunt negotiis civilibus literaria, magnaque ilia rarissimarum rerum 
varietas mirifice legentem delecfat. Agitur hie de rebus Anglicis, Gallicis, Italicis, Germanicis, 
Hispanicis, Belgicis, Danicis, Suecicis, undfe multa ad historiam eorum temporum observari 
possunt. Insperguntur nonnunquam poetici sales et facetiae. Physica et medica non omit- 
tuntur. De rebus literariis disquiritur. Historiae rariores narrantur. Characteres et linea- 
menta virorum illustrium et doctorum, tam in Anglia, quam in aliis locis, ab illo proponuntur. 
Elucet denique ex stylo varia et elegans eruditio. . . Infinita propemodum hie occurrunt ob- 
servatione dignissima. Quare opera pretium faceret, qui has Epistolas in linguam vel Lati- 
nam vel Germanicam converteret.— Polyhist. Lit., lib. ii, cap, 24. 



viii PREFACE. 

from authors of great celebrity; and to keep the volume within a convenient 
size, many have been omitted of less interest, that appeared in the last 
edition. 

Since, then, the writers of these Letters are able to speak so powerfully for 
themselves, why should the Reader be detained by a longer Preface from 
better entertainment ? Things intrinsically good will be duly appreciated by 
a discerning Public, and require not the ostentatious display of a florid enco- 
mium. If the Letters here selected were the Letters of obscure men and 
women, a recommendatory introduction might be necessary to their ready 
admission ; but they are the Letters of persons high in rank, high in fame, 
high in every quality which can excite and reward the attention of a nation, 
of which most of them have been at once the ornaments and the luminaries. 
Here indeed, like the setting sun, they shine with a softer radiance than in 
their more studied works; retaining, however, their beauty and magnitude 
undiminished, though their meridian fervour is abated. Associated in this 
Compilation, they unite their orbs, and form a galaxy : they charm with a 
mild, diffusive light; though they may not dazzle, as in their greater works, 
with a noon-day splendour. 

But it is time to conclude, since to proceed in recommending those, who 
recommend themselves, is but an officious ceremony : yet the Editor, before 
he withdraws himself, begs leave to ask the Reader one question : Would 
he not think it a pleasure and a happiness, beyond the power of adequate 
estimation, to be able to sit down, whenever he pleases, and enjoy, at his fire- 
side, the conversation of Cicero and Pliny, of the noble Sydneys, of the lively 
Howel, of Pope, of Johnson, of Franklin, of Fox, of Cowper, and of all 
the other illustrious and excellent persons, whose familiar and unstudied 
Letters fill the volume before him ? That pleasure, and that happiness, how- 
ever great, he may here actually obtain, in as great perfection as is now pos- 
sible, since death has silenced their eloquent tongues. By a very slight effort 
of imagination he may suppose himself, while he revolves these pages, in the 
midst of the intelligent, cheerful, social circle; and when satisfied with the 
familiar conversation of one, turn to another, equally excellent and enter- 
taining in his way, though on a different subject, and in a diversified style. 
Happy intercourse, exempt from care, from strife, from envy ! and happy 
they, who have leisure, sense, and taste, to relish it ! 

That a satisfaction so pure and so exalted may be enjoyed from this attempt, 
is the sincere wish of the Editor ; who ventures to express a hope, that if 
much is done for the Reader's entertainment, he willnot complain that more 
has not been accomplished, but view excellence with due approbation, and 
defect with good-natured indulgence. 



CONTENTS, 



BOOK I. 



ANCIENT LETTERS. 



SECTION I. 

From the Letters of Marcus Tullius 
Cicero, to several of his Friends, as 
translated by William Melmoth, Esq. 

Letter Page 

1 To Terentia, to ray dearest Tullia, 

and to my Son 1 

2 From the same to the same 2 

3 From the same to the same 3 

4 To Terentia 5 

5 To Marcus Marius 6 

6 To Marcus Licinius Crassus 8 

7 To Julius Caesar 9 

8 ToTrebatius 10 

9 To the same ibid. 

10 To the same 11 

n To the same ibid. 

12 To the same 12 

13 To the same ibid, 

14 To Quintus Philippus, Proconsul .... 13 

15 To Lucius Valerius, the Lawyer 14 

IG ToTrebatius ibid. 

17 To Caius Curio 15 

18 ToTrebatius ibid. 

19 To Caius Curio ibid. 

20 ToTrebatius 16 

21 To Caius Curio 17 

22 ToTrebatius ibid. 

23 To Titus Fadius 18 

24 To Marcus Ccelius ibid. 

25 To Terentia and Tullia 19 

26 To Tiro ibid. 

27 To the same 20 

28 To Terentia and to Tullia 21 

29 To the same ibid. 

30 To Terentia 22 

31 To the same ibid. 

32 To the same ; 23 

33 To the same ibid. 

34 To the same ibid. 

35 To the same ibid. 

36 To the same ibid. 

37 Tothesame ibid. 

38 ToTitius 24 

39 To Terentia 25 

40 To the same ibid. 



Letter pgg^ 

41 To Terentia ,..,, 25 

42 To the same ibid. 

43 To the same 26 

44 To Lucius Papirius Paetus ibid. 

45 To Lucius Mescinius ibid. 

46 ToVarro 27 

47 To Papirius Paetus 28 

48 Tothesame 30 

49 To Gallus 31 

50 ToCffisar .'?2 

51 ToDolabella ibid. 

52 Servius Sulpicius to Cicero 33 

53 To Servius Sulpicius 34 

54 To Lucius Lucceius 36 

55 Lucceius to Cicero , ibid. 

56 To Lucius Lucceius 37 

57 To Tiro 38 

58 To the same ibid. 



SECTION II, 

From the Letters of Pliny the Consul, to 
several of his Friends, as translated by 
William Melmoth, Esq. 

1 To Caninius Rufus 39 

2 To Pompeia Celerina 40 

3 To Cornelius Tacitus ibid. 

4 To Minutius Fundanus ibid. 

5 To Atrius Clemens 41 

6 To Calestrius Tito 42 

7 To Junius Mauricus 43 

8 To Septitius Clarus 44 

9 To Erucius ibid. 

10 To Cornelius Tacitus 45 

11 To Catilius Severus 47 

12 ToBebius 49 

13 To Voconius Romanus ibid. 

14 ToPaulinus 50 

15 ToNepos 51 

16 To Caninius 52 

17 To Octavius ibid. 

18 To Priscus ibid. 

19 To Valerianus 53 

20 To Mauricus 54 



CONTENTS. 



Letter Page 

21 ToCerealis 54 

22 ToCalvisius ; 55 

23 ToHispulla 56 

24 To Tranquillus ibid. 

25 ToCatilius 57 

26 To Procwlus ibid. 

27 ToNepos ibid. 

28 To Servianus 59 

29 To Maximus ibid. 

30 To Fabatus 60 

31 To Clemens ibid. 

32 To Antoninus 61 

33 ToNaso ibid. 

34 ToLepidus 62 

35 To Cornelius Tacitus ibid. 

36 To Valerius Paulinas \ 63 

37 ToGallus 64 

38 ToHispulla ibid. 

39 To Maximus 65 

40 To Velius Cerealis ibid. 

41 ToValens 66 

42 To Maximus ibid. 

43 ToNepos ibid. 

44 To Licinius 67 

45 To Maximus ibid. 



Letter Page 

46 To Capito 68 

47 ToSaturninus , 69 

48 To Marcellinus ibid. 

49 To Spurinna 70 

50 To Servianus 71 

51 To Quintilian r ibid. 

52 To Restitutus ibid. 

53 To Praesens 72 

54 To Calphurnia ibid. 

55 ToTuscus ibid. 

56 To Priscus 74 

57 To Rufus 75 

58 To Maximus ibid. 

59 ToGenitor 76 

60 To Geminius ibid. 

61 To Romanus ibid. 

62 To Ursus ,. 77 

63 To Fabatus ibid. 

64 To Hispulla 78 

65 To Minutianus ibid. 

66 To Sabinianus 79 

67 To the same ibid. 

68 To Fuscus ibid. 

69 To the same 80 



BOOK II. 



MODERN LETTERS : OF EARLY DATE. 



SECTION I. 

Modern, and of early Date. 

1 Queen Anne BuUen to King Henry... 81 

2 A Letter from Lady More to Mr. Se- 

cretary Cromwell 82 

3 Lady Stafford to Mr. Secretary 

Cromwell ibid. 

4 Earl of Essex to Queen Elizabeth ... 83 

5 Lord Chancellor Egerton to the Earl 

of Essex ibid. 

6 The Earl's answer 85 

7 Sir Henry Sidney to his son Philip 

Sidney, at school at Shrewsbury, 
.an. 1566, 9 Eliz. then being of the 
age of twelve years 86 

8 Sir Henry Sidney to Robert Dudley, 

Earl of Leicester...... 87 

9 The Right Honourable Thomas Sack- 

vil, Lord Buckhurst, to Sir Henry 
Sidney 88 

10 Sir Henry Sidney to Robert Dudley, 

Earl of Leicester ibid. 

1 1 Sir Henry Sidney to Queen Elizabeth 90 

12 Sir Henry Sidney to Mr. Secretary 

Walsingham, concerning the re- 
ports of the Earl of Essex's death ibid. 

13 Sir Henry Sidney to the Lords of the 

Council 92 

14 Sir Henry Sidney to his son, Robert 

Sidney, afterwards Earl of Leicester ibid. 



15 Sir Philip Sidney to his father. Sir 

Henry Sidney 94 

16 Sir Phi li Sidney to Edward Water- 

house, Esq. Secretary of Ireland ibid. 

17 Sir Philip Sidney to Edward Moli- 

neux, Esq. Secretary to his father, 

as Lord Deputy 95 

18 Edward Molineux, Esq. to Philip Sid- 

ney, in answer to the abovesaid 
letter ibid. 

19 Sir Henry Sidney to his son. Sir Phi- 

lip Sidney ibid. 

20 Lady Mary Sidney to Edmund Moli- 

neux, Esq ibid. 

21 Sir Henry Sidney to his son, Robert 

Sidney, afterwards Earl of Leicester 96 

22 Thomas, Lord Buckhurst, to Robert 

Dudley, Earl of Leicester, on the 
death of Sir Philip Sidney ibid. 

23 Robert, Earl of Leicester, to his 

daughter Dorothy, Countess of Sun- 
derland, on the death of the Earl 
her husband, who lost his life va- 
liantly fighting for King Charlesthe 
First, at the battle of Newberry, 
20th Sept. 1643 97 

24 Robert, Earl of Liecester, to the 

Queen, at Oxford, desiring to know 
why he was dismissed from the office 
of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 98 

25 Algernon Sidney to his father, Robert 

Earl of Leicester 99 



CONTENTS. 



XI 



Letter Page 

26 Dr.SharptotheDukeof Buckingham^ 

with Queen Elizabeth's speech to 

her army at Tilbury Fort 99 

27 Lord Bacon to James 1 100 

28 Sir Walter Raleigh to James 1 101 

29 Sir Walter Raleigh to Sir Robert Car ibid. 

30 Sir Walter Raleigh to Prince Henry, 

son of James I 102 

31 Lord Bacon to James L after his dis- 

grace 103 

32 Lord Baltimore to Lord Wentworth, 

afterwards Earl of Strafford 1 05 

33 Lord Wentworth to Archbishop Laud ibid. 

34 Charles L to Lord Wentworth 106 

35 Charles L to the Earl of Strafford ... ibid. 

36 Earl of Strafford to his son ibid. 

37 James, Earl of Derby, to Commissary 

General Ireton, in answer to the 
summons sent the Earl to deliver 
up the Isle ofMan 107 

38 Charles IL to the Duke of York 108 

39 Oliver Cromwell to his son, H. Crom- 

well ibid. 

40 Lady Mary Cromwell to H. Cromwell ibid. 

41 Henry Cromwell to Lord Faulconberg 109 

42 Lord Broghill to Secretary Thurloe 110 

43 Henry Cromwell to Richard Crom- 

well, Protector ibid. 

44 The Hon. Algernon Sidney to his 

frietid Ill 

45 Mr.BoyletotheCountessofRanelagh 112 

46 From the same to the same , " 113 

47 From the same to the same 114 

48 Mr. Boyle to Lord Broghill 115 

49 Mr. Boyle to Dame Augustine Cary 116 

SECTION II. 

Miscellaneous, of early Date, continued. 

1 From James Howel, Esq. to Sir J. S. 

at Leed's Castle 118 

2 From the same to his father, upon his 

first going beyond sea 119 

3 From the same to Dr. Francis Man- 

sell, since Principal of Jesus Col- 
lege in Oxford ibid. 

4 From the same to Dan. Caldwell, Esq. 

from Amsterdam ,... 120 

5 From the same to Mr. Richard Al- 

tham, at his chambers in Gray's 

Inn ibid. 

6 From the same to Captain Francis 

Bacon, from Paris 121 

7 From the same to Richard Altham, 

Esq. from Paris 122 

8 From the same to Sir James Crofts, 

from Paris 123 

9 From the same to Mr. Thomas Por- 

ter, after Captain Porter, from 
Barcelona 125 

1 From the same to Robert Brown,Esq. 

at the Middle Temple, from Venice ibid. 

1 1 From the same to Christopher Jones, 

Esq. at Gray's Inn, from Naples 126 

1 2 From the same to Sir Eubule Thewall, 

Knight, and Principal of Jesus Col- 
lege in Oxford 127 

13 From the same to Dan. Caldwell, Esq. 

from the Lord Savage's house in 
Long Melford ibid. 



Letter - Page 

14 From James Howel, Esq. to his bro- 

ther, Mr. Hugh Penry, upon his 
marriage 128 

15 From the same to Dr. Thos. Prichard 

at Worcester House ibid. 

16 From the same to the Hon. Mr. John 

Savage (now Earl of Rivers) at 
Florence 129 

17 From the same to Dr. Prichard ibid. 

18 From the same to his well-beloved 

cousin, Mr. T. V 130 

19 From the same to the Lady Jane Sa- 

vage, Marchioness of Winchester 131 

20 From the same to Mr. R. Sc. at York ibid. 

21 From the same to the Right Hon. 

Lady Scroop, Countess of Sunder- 
land, from Stamford ibid. 

22 From the same to his cousin, Mr. St. 

John, at Christ Church College in 
Oxford 152 

23 From the same to Sir J. S. Knight ... 133 

24 From the same to R. S. Esq ibid. 

25 From the same to his father 134 

26 From the same to the Right Rev. Dr. 

Field, Lord Bishop of St, David's... ibid. 

27 From the same to Sir Ed. B. Knight 135 

28 From the same to Master Tho. Adams 136 

29 From the same to his nephew, J. P. at 

St. John's in Oxford 137 

30 From the same to the Right Honour- 

able the Lady Elizabeth Digby ... ibid. 

31 From the same to Mr. Thomas H 138 

32 From the same to Dr. D. Featley. ... ibid. 

33 From the same to his honoured friend. 

Sirs. C ibid. 

34 From the same to Mr. R. Howard ... 140 

35 From the same to Sir K. D. at Rome ibid. 

36 From the same to Mr. En. P. at Paris 141 

37 From the same to Mr. William Blois 142 

38 From the same to H. Hopkins, Esq. ibid. 

39 From the same to Mr. T. Morgan ... 143 

40 From the same to the Right Honour- 

able the Lady E. D 144 

41 From the same to the Lord Marquis 

of Hartford ibid. 

42 From the same to J. Sutton, Esq 146 

43 From the same to the Lord Marquis 

of Dorchester 147 

44 From the same to Sir E. S 149 

45 From the same to R. Davies, Esq. ... ibid. 

46 From the same to Mr. W. Price, at 

Oxon 150 

47 From the same to Mr. R. Lee, in Ant- 

werp ibid. 

48 From the same to Mr. T. C. at his 

house upon Tower Hill 151 

49 Lady Russell's Letter to the King 

CharlesII 152 

50 From the same to Dr. Fitzwilliam ... ibid. 

51 From the same to the same 153 

52 From the same to the same 154 

53 Dr.Tillotson to Lady Russell 155 

54 Lady Russell to Dr. Fitzwilliam ibid. 

55 From the same to the same 156 

56 Dean Tillotson to Lady Russell 157 

57 Lady Russell to the Dean of St. Paul's 159 

58 Dean Tillotson to Lady Russell 160 

59 Lady Russell to Lady Sunderland ... 161 

60 Thesame to Dr. Fitzwilliam 162 

61 Dean Tillotson to Lady Russell 163 

62 Lady Russell to the Dean of St. Paul's ibid. 



xu 



CONTENTS. 



Letter Page 

63 Ladj^ Russell to (supposed the 

Bishop of Salisbury) 164 

64 The same to Lord Cavendish 165 

65 Archbishop Tillotson to Lady Russell ibid. 

66 Lady Russell to (supposed 

Archbishop Tillotson) 166 

67 From the same to Lady (sup- 

posed Arlington) 167 

68 From the same to ibid. 

69 From the same to Dr. Fitzwilliam ... ibid. 

70 From the same to Lady Russell 168 

71 Archbishop Tillotson to Lady Russell ibid. 

72 From the same to the same 169 

73 The Bishop of Salisbury to Lady Rus- 

sell ibid 

74 Lady Russell to King William 170 

75 From the same to Rouvigny, Earl of 

Galway ibid. 

76 From Lord Shaftesbury to ... 171 

77 From the same to the same, 172 



Letter Page 

78 From Lord Shaftesbury to ... 173 

79 From the same to the same 174 

80 From the same to the same 175 

81 From the same to the same 179 

82 From the same to the same ibid. 

83 From the same to the same 180 

84 From the same to the same 181 

85 From the same to R. Molesworth, Esq. 182 

86 From the same to the same 183 

87 From the same to the same 184 

88 From the same to the same 186 

89 From the same to the same 187 

90 From the same to the same 189 

91 From the same to the same 190 

92 From the same to the same ibid. 

93 From the same to the same 191 

94 From the same to Lord *** 192 

95 From Ihe same to the Earl of Oxford 196 

96 From the same to Lord Godolphin... 197 



BOOK III. 



LEITERS OF THE LAST CENTURY, AND OF LATE DATE. 



SECTION L 

From Mr. Pope and his Friends. 

Mr. Pope to Mr. Wycherley 198 

From the same to the same 199 

From the same to the same ibid. 

From the same to the same 200 

From the same to the same ibid. 

From the same to the same 201 

From the same to the same 202 

From the same to the same ibid. 

From the same to the same 203 

From the same to the same 204 

From the same to Mr. Walsh ibid. 

From the same to the same 205 

From the same to H. Cromwell, Esq. 207 

From the same to the same ibid. 

From the same to the same ibid. 

From the same to the same 208 

From the same to the same ibid. 

From the same to the same 210 

From the same to the same 211 

From the same to the same ibid. 

From the same to the same 213 

From the same to the same ibid. 

From the same to the same 215 

From the same to the same 216 

From the same to the same ibid. 

From the same to the same 217 

From the same to the same 218 

From the same to the same jbid. 

From the same to the same 219 

From the same to the same 220 

From the same to the same 221 

From the same to the same 222 

From the same to the same ibid. 



'34 From the same to H. Cromwell, Esq. 223 

35 From the same to the same 224 

36 From the same to the same 225 

37 From the same to Sir V/. Trumbull ibid. 

38 From the same to the same 226 

39 From the same to the same 227 

40 From the same to the Hon. J. C. 

Esq ibid. 

41 From the same to the same 229 

42 From the same to the same «ibid. 

43 From the same to the same 231 

44 From the same to General Anthony 

Hamilton 232 

45 From the same to Mr. Steele ibid. 

46 From the same to the same 233 

47 From the same to the same ibid. 

48 Mr. Steele to Mr. Pope 234 

49 Mr. Pope to Mr. Steele.... ibid. 

50 From the same to the same... 235 

51 Mr. Steele to Mr. Pope ibid. 

52 Mr. Pope to Mr. Steele * ibid. 

53 From the same to Mr. Addison ibid. 

54 Mr.Addison to Mr. Pope 236 

55 Mr. Pope to Mr. Addison ibid. 

5€i From the same to the Honourable 

****** 237 

57 From the same to Mr. Jervas ......... 238 

58 Mr. Jervas to Mr. Pope ibid. 

59 Mr. Pope to Mr. Jervas 239 

60 From the same to the Earl of Hallifax ibid. 
6\ Dr. Parnelle to Mr. Pope 240 

62 Mr. Pope to the Hon. James Craggs. 241 

63 From the same to Mr. Congreve ibid. 

64 From the same to the same 242 

65 From the same to the same ibid. 

66 Mr. Congreve to Mr. Pope 243 

67 The Rev. Dean Berkley to Mr. Pope 244 



CONTENTS. 



Xlll 



Letter Page 

68 Mr. Pope to Mr, Jcrvas, in Ireland.. 244 

69 From the same to the same 245 

70 From the same to the same 246 

71 From the same to Mr. Feuton ibid. 

72 Rev. Dean Berkley to Mr. Pope 247 

73 Mr. Pope to **** 248 

74 From the same to **** 239 

75 From the same to the Earl of Bur- 

lington ibid. 

76 From the same to the Duke of Buck- 

ingham 251 

77 The Duke of Buckingham to Mr. 

Pope 254 

78 Mr. Pope to the Duke of Bucking- 

ham 255 

79 Dr. Arbuthnotto Mr. Pope 256 

80 Mr. Pope to Dr.Arbuthnot 257 

81 From the same to the Earl of Oxford ibid. 

82 The Earl of Oxford to Mr. Pope 258 

83 Mr. Pope to Edward Blount, Esq ... ibid. 

84 Edward Blount, Esq. to Mr. Pope... 259 

85 From the same to the same 260 

86 Mr. Pope to Edward Blount, Esq... ibid. 

87 From the same to the same 261 

88 From the same to the same 262 

89 Edward Blount, Esq. to Mr. Pope... 263 

90 Mr. Pope to Edward Blount, Esq.... 264 

91 From the same to the same ibid. 

92 From the same to the same 265 

93 From the same to the same ibid. 

94 From the same to the same 266 

95 From the same to the same ibid. 

96 From the same to the same 267 

97 From the same to the Hon. Robert 

Digby 268 

98 From the same to the same ibid. 

99 Mr. Digby to Mr. Pope 269 

100 Mr. Pope to Mr. Digby 270 

101 Mr. Digby to Mr. Pope ibid. 

102 From the same to the same 271 

103 Mr. Pope to Mr. Digby ibid. 

104 Mr. Digby to Mr. Pope 272 

105 From the same to the same ibid. 

106 Mr. Pope to Mr. Digby 273 

107 From the same to the same ibid. 

108 From the same to the same 274 

109 From the same to the same ibid. 

110 Mr. Digby to Mr. Pope 275 

111 Mr. Pope to Mr. Digby 276 

112 From the same to the same 277 

113 From the same to the same ibid. 

114 From the same to the same 278 

115 The Bishop of Rochester (Dr. At- 

terbury) to Mr. Pope ibid. 

116 Mr. Pope to the Bishop of Rochester 279 

117 The Bishop ofRochester to Mr. Pope 280 

118 From the same to the same 281 

119 Lord Chancellor Harcourt to Mr. 

Pope ibid. 

120 The Bishop of Rochester to Mr.Pope 282 

121 From the same to the same 283 

122 Mr. Pope to the Bishop of Rochester ibid. 

123 TheBishop of Rochester to Mr.Pope 284 

124 Mr. Pope to the Bishop of Rochester ibid. 

125 The Bishop of Rochester to Mr. Pope 28a 

126 Mr. Pope to the Bishop of Rochester ibid. 

127 The Bishop ofRochester to Mr.Pope 286 

128 From the same to the same ibid. 

129 From the same to the same 287 

130 From the same to the same ibid. 

1 31 Mr. Pope to the Bishop of Rochester 288 



Letter Page 

132 Mr. Pope to the Bishop of Rochester 289 

133 The Bishop of Rochester to Mr.Pope 290 

134 From the same to the same 291 

135 Mr. Pope to Mr. Gay 292 

136 From the same to the same 293 

137 From the same to the same ,. ibid. 

138 From the same to the same 294 

139 Mr. Gay to Mr. F- 295 

140 Mr. Pope to Mr. Gay 296 

141 Prom the same to the same ibid. 

142 From the same to the same 297 

143 From the same to the same ibid. 

144 From the same to Mrs. B 298 

145 From the same to Hugh Bethel, 

Esq ibid. 

146 From the same to the same 299 

147 From the same to the same 300 

148 The Earl of Peterborow to Mr. 

Pope ibid. 

149 Dr. Swift to the Earl of Peterborow 301 

150 Mr. Pope to Mr. C ibid. 

151 From the same to Mr. Richardson 302 

152 From the same to Mr. Bethel ibid. 

153 From the same to Dr. Arbuthnot ... 303 

154 From the same to Dr. Swift 304 

155 Anthony Henley, Esq. to Dr. Swift 305 

156 Lord Bolingbroke to Dr. Swift ibid. 

157 Dr. Swift to Mr. Pope 307 

158 Mr. Gay to Dr. Swift 308 

159 Mr. Pope to Dr. Swift 309 

160 Dr Swift to Mr. Pope ibid. 

161 Mr. Pope to Dr. Swift 310 

162 Dr. Swift to Mr. Pope 311 

163 From the same to the same 312 

ir)4 Mr. Pope to Dr. Swift ibid. 

165 Dr. Swift to Mr. Pope 313 

166 Lord Bolingbroke to Dr. Swift 314 

167 Lord B. to Dr. Swift 315 

168 Dr. Swift to Mr. Gay 316 

169 From the same to the same 317 

170 Mr. Pope to Dr. Swift 518 

171 Dr. Swift to Mr. Pope... 319 

172 Lady B G toDr.Swift ibid. 

173 From the same to the same 320 

174 From the same to the same ibid. 

175 From the same to the same 321 

176 From the same to the same ..... .. 322 

177 From the same to the same ibid. 

178 From the same to the same 323 

179 The Duchess of to Dr. Swift... 324 

180 Lady B G to Dr. Swift 325 

181 From the same to the same ibid. 

182 Dr. Swift to the Duke of Dorset 326 



SECTION II. 



Miscellaneous Letters, 



1 Dr. Swift to Miss Jane Waryng 328 

2 Dr.Tillotson to the Earl of Mulgrave 330 

3 Earl of Mulgrave to Dr.Tillotson... 331 

4 Dr. Lewis Atterbury to Bishop At- 

terbury 332 

5 Bishop Atterbury to his brother .... 333 

6 From the same to the same ibid. 

7 From the same to the same ibid 

8 From the same to his son at Oxford ibid. 

9 From the same to Lord Townshend 334 



XIV 



Letter 

10 The Bishop of Rochester to Mrs, 



CONTENTS. 

Page Letter 



Page 



14 Dr. King to Bishop Atterbury 336 



Morice ibid, i 15 Duchess of Somerset to Lady Lux- 

11 Mr. J. Evans to his brother in Lon- i borough 357 

don * 335 I If) Countess of Hertford to Dr. Burnet, 

12 The Bishop of Rochester to Mr. i occasioned by some meditations 

Pope ibid. I the Doctor sent her, upon the 

13 From the same to ♦*** 336 I death of her son, Lord Beauchamp 338 



BOOK IV. 



RECENT LETTERS. 



SECTION I. 

From the Letters of Wii.j.iam Shenstone, 
Esq. and Mr. Gray, to and from their 
Friends. 

1 Mr. Shenstone to a friend 340 

2 From the same to Mr. Jago, on the 

death of his father 341 

3 From the same to Mr. Reynolds 342 

4 From the same to Mr. -, on his 

taking orders in the church ibid* 

5 From the same to a friend, expressing 

his dissatisfaction at the manner of 

life in which he is engaged 343 

6 From the same to Mr. , with an 

invitation to accompany him to 
town 344 

7 From the same to the same ibid. 

8 From the same to Mr. Graves, on be- 

nevolence and friendship 345 

9 From the same to the same 346 

10 From the same to the same, written 

in the hay harvest ibid. 

1 1 From the same to the same, after the 

disappointment of a visit 347 

12 From the same to the same, with 

Thoughts on Advice 348 

13 From the same to the same 349 

14 From the same to the same 350 

15 From the same to Mr. Jago ibid. 

16 From the same to Mr. , on his 

marriage 351 

17 From the same to Mr. Jago, with an 

invitationto the Leasowes 352 

18 From the same to a friend, disap- 

pointing him of a visit 353 

19 From the same to Mr. Jago 354 

20 From the same to C W , 

Esq 355 

21 From the same to Mr. Graves, on the 

death of Mr. Shenstone's brother ibid. 

22 From the same to C W , Esq. 357 

23 From the same to Mr. G , on the 

receipt of his picture ibid. 

24 From the same to Mr. Jago 358 

25 From the same to the same 360 

526 From the same to Mr. Graves, on the 

death of Mr. Whistler 361 



27 Mr. Shenstone to Mr. Graves, on hear- 

ing that his letters to Mr. Whistler 

were destroyed 361 

28 Mr. West to Mr. Gray 362 

29 Mr. Gray to Mr. West ibid. 

30 Mr. West to Mr. Gray 363 

31 Mr. Gray to Mr. West 364 

32 Mr. V/est to Mr. Gray ibid. 

33 Mr. Gray to Mr. Walpole 365 

54 Mr. West to Mr. Gray ibid. 

35 Mr. Gray to Mr. West ibid. 

36 From the same to Mr. Walpole 366 

37 From the same to the same ibid. 

38 xMr. West to Mr. Gray 367 

39 From the same to the same ibid. 

40 Mr. Gray to Mr. Walpole 368 

41 From the same to Mr. West ibid. 

42 Mr. West to Mr. Gray ibid. 

43 From the same to the same 369 

44 From the same to the same ,... ibid. 

45 Mr. Gray to Mr. West ibid. 

46 From the same to the same 370 

47 Mr. West to Mr. Gray 371 

48 Mr. Gray to Mr. West 372 

49 Mr. West to Mr. Gray 373 

50 Mr. Gray to Mr. West ibid. 

51 Mr. West to Mr. Gray ibid. 

52 Mr. Gray to Mr. West ibid. 

53 From the same to Dr. Wharton 374 

54 From the same to the same,,.. ibid. 

55 From the same to the same 375 

56 From the same to Mr. Walpole 376 

57 From the same to the same 377 

58 From the same to Dr. Wharton ibid. 

59 From the same to the same 578 

60 From the same to the same ibid. 

61 From the same to the same 379 

62 From the same to Dr. Warburton ... ibid. 

63 From the same to his mother 380 

64 From the same to Dr. Wharton ibid. 

65 From the same to Mr. Walpole 381 

66 From the same to Dr. Wharton 382 

67 From the same to Mr. Walpole ibid. 

68 From the same to Mr. Mason 583 

69 From the same to Dr. Wharton ibid. 

70 From the same to the same 384 

71 From the same to the same ibid. 

72 From the same to the same 385 

73 From the same to Mr. Mason ibid. 

74 From the same to the same 386 



CONTENTS. 



XV 



Letter Page 

15 Mr. Gray to Mr. Kurd 387 

16 From the same to Mr. Mason ibid, 

77 From the same to Dr. Wharton 388 

78 From the same to the same 389 

79 From the same to Mr. Stonehewer ibid. 

80 From the same to Dr. Wharton 390 

81 From the same to Mr.Palgrave 391 

82 From the same to the same ibid. 

83 From the same to Dr. Wharton 392 

84 From the same to Mr. Stonehewer .. 393 
S5 From the same to Dr. Clarke 394 

86 From the same to Mr. Mason ibid. 

87 From the same to Dr. Wharton ibid. 

88 From the same to Mr. Mason 395 

89 From the same to Dr. Wharton ibid. 

90 From the same to the same 396 

91 From the same to Mr. Mason 397 

92 From the same to Mr.Beattie ibid. 

93 From the same to the Duke of Graf- 

ton 398 

94 From the same to Mr. NichoUs ibid. 

95 From the same to Mr. Beattie ibid. 

96 From the same to Mr.Nicholls 399 

97 From the same to the same ibid. 

98 From the same to the same 400 

99 From the same to Mr. Beattie 401 

!00 From the same to Mr. Nicholls 402 

101 From the same to Dr. Wharton ibid. 

SECTION II. 

From ike Letters of Laurence Sterne 
and others. 



1 Mr. Sterne to Miss L 404 

2 From the same to Mrs. F 405 \ 

3 From the same to J — H — S , j 

Esq ibid. 

4 From the same to the same ibid. 

5 From the same to Lady D 406 

6 From the same to David Gar rick, 

Esq 407 

7 From the same to Lady D 408 

8 From the same to Mrs. Sterne ibid. 

9 From the same to the same ibid. 

10 From the same to Lady D 409 

11 From the same to Mr. E— >— ibid. 

12 From the same to Mr. Foley, at 

Paris 410 

13 From the same to J — H — S , 

Esq 411 

14 From the same to Mr. Foley 412 

15 From the same to the same ibid. 

16 From the same to the same 413 

17 From the same to the same. ibid, 

18 From the same to the same ibid. 

19 From the same to the same 414 

20 From the same to the same ibid. 

21 From the same to the same 415 

22 From the same to Mrs. F ibid. 

23 From the same to Miss Sterne 416 

24 From the same to J — H — S , 

Esq ibid. 

25 From the same to Mr. Foley 417 

26 From the same to David Garrick, 

Esq , ibid. 

97 From the same to Mr. W 418 

28 From the same to Miss Sterne ibid. 

29 David Hume, Esq. to 419 

30 From the same to Dr. Campbell .... 420 



Letter Page 

31 Dr. Smollett to Daniel Mackercher, 

Esq 421 

32 Dr. Isaac Sohomberg to a Lady, on 

the Method of Reading for Female 
Improvement 424 

33 To Colonel R s, in Spain 425 

34 John Garden to Archbishop Seeker .. 426 

35 Archbishop Seeker to John Garden... ibid. 

36 John Garden to Archbishop Seeker... ibid. 

37 Archbishop Seeker to a Clergyman... 428 

SECTION III. 

From the Letters of the late Earl of 
Chatham^ Mrs. Elizabeth Monta- 
gu, Lady Mary Wortley Monta- 
gue, Lord Chesterfield, Dr. John- 
son, and others. 



1 From the late Earl of Chatham to his 

Nephew, Thomas Pitt, Esq. (after- 
wards Lord Camelford) 429 

2 From the same to the same ibid. 

3 From the same to the same , 430 

4 From the same to the same 431 

5 From the same to the same 433 

6 From the same to the same 434 

7 From the same to the same 435 

8 From the same to the same 436 

9 From the same to the same ibid. 

10 From the same to the same 437 

11 From the same to the same .. ibid. 

12 From the same to the same 438 

13 From the same to the same ibid. 

14 From the same to the same 439 

15 From the same to the same ibid. 

16 From the same to the same ibid. 

17 From the same to the same 440 

18 From the same to the same ibid. 

19 From the same to the same ibid. 

20 From the same to the same 441 

21 From the same to the same ibid. 

22 From the same to the same ibid. 

23 From the same to the same 442 

24 From Mrs, Elizabeth Montagu to the 

Duchess of Portland ibid. 

25 From the same to the same 443 

26 From the same to the same 444 

27 From the same to the same ibid. 

28 From the same to the same 445 

29 From the same to the same 446 

30 From the same to the same 447 

31 From the same to the same .. ibid. 

32 From the same to Miss S. Robinson 448 

33 From the same to the same 449 

34 From the same to the same 450 

35 From the same to the Rev.W. Friend ibid. 

36 From the same to the Duchess of 

Portland 451 

37 From the same to the same 452 

38 From the same to the same 453 

39 From the same to the same.. 454 

40 From the same to the same 456 

41 From the same to the same 457 

42 From the same to the Rev. Mr. and 

Mrs.Friend 458 

43 From the same to Miss S. Robinson 459 

44 From the same to Mrs. Donnellan... 460 

45 From tlie same to Miss S.Robinson 461 



XVI 



CONTENTS. 



462 



64 



Letter Page 

46 From Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu to the 

Duchess of Portland 

47 From the same to the Rev. Dr. Shaw, 

F.R. S., &c. &c 

48 From the same to the Duchess of 

Portland 466 

49 From the same to the same ?. 467 

50 From the same to the same 468 

51 From the same to the same 469 

52 From the same to the same 470 

53 From the same to the same ibid. 



Letter 



54 From the same to Mrs. Donnellan .. 

55 Lady M. W. Montague to the Coun- 

tess of 



56 From the same to Mrs. S 

57 From the same to Mrs. S. C 

58 From the same to the Lady 

59 From the same to the Countess of 

B 

CO From the same to Mrs. P 

61 From the same to the Countess of 



62 From the same to Mr. P 

63 From the same to the Countess of 



471 

472 
473 
ibid. 

474 

475 
476 

477 
478 

479 

481 

ibid. 

482 
483 

484 

69 From the same to the same 485 

70 From the same to the same 486 

71 From the same to the Countess of 

B ibid. 

72 From the same to the Lady R ... 487 

73 From the same^ to the Countess of 

, 488 

489 
490 



100 
101 

102 
103 
104 
105 



Dr. Johnson to Mr. Boswell 

From the same to Mr. James Mac- 

pherson 

From the same to Mrs. Boswell 

From the same to Mr. Elphinstone. 
From the same to 



106 



64 From the same to the Lady R- 

65 From the same to Mrs. J*** ., 



66 From the same to the Lady X 

67 From the same to Mr. 

68 From the same to the Countess of 



492 



49^ 



74 From the same to the Lady .... 

75 From the same to Mr. Pope 

76 Lord Chesterfield to Dr. R. Chenevix, 

Lord Bishop of Waterford ibid. 

77 From the same to the same ibid. 

78 From the same to the same 491 

79 From the same to the same ibid. 

80 Dr. Swift to the Earl of Chesterfield ibid. 

81 The Earl of Chesterfield to Dr. Swift 

82 Dean Swift to the Earl of Chester- 

field 

83 Lord Chesterfield to Sir Thomas Ro- 

binson, Bart ibid. 

84 The same to Dr. Cheyne of Bath 494 

85 John Dunning, Esq. to a Gentleman 

of the Inner Temple ibid. 

86 Dr. Johnson to Mr. Elphinstone 495 

87 From the same to the same 496 

88 From the same to the Rev. Dr. 

Taylor ibid. 

89 From the same to Miss Boothby 497 

90 From the same to the same ibid, 

91 From the same to the Earl of Ches- 

terfield ibid. 

92 From the same to Miss »•»*»* 498 

93 From the same to Miss Boothby ibid. 

94 From the same to the same 499 

95 From the same to Joseph Baretti ibid. 

96 From the same to the same 501 

97 From the same to the same 502 

98 Mrs. Thrale to Mr. , on his 

Marriage 503 

99 Dr. Johnson to Mr. Boswell 505 



.22 



12: 



From the same to Mrs. Thrale, on 

the Death of Mr. Thrale 

From the same to the same 

107 From the same to Mr. Hector 

108 From the same to James Boswell, 

Esq 

109 From the same to the same 

110 From the same to the same 

111 From the same to Mrs. Thrale 

112 From the same to the same 

113 From the same to Miss Susanna 

Thrale 

114 From the same to Mrs. Thrale 

115 From the same to the same 

116 From the same to the same 

117 From the same to Mrs. Chapone.... 

118 From the same to Mrs. Thrale 

119 From the same to the same 

120 From the same to the same. 

121 From the same to the same 

From the same to the Rev. Dr. 

Taylor 

From the same to Lord Chancellor 
Thurlow 

124 Miss to the Rev. Dr. Home.... 

125 Dr. Home to Miss 

126 Lord Lyttleton to Sir Thomas Lyt- 

tleton, at Hagley 

127 From the same to the same 

128 From the same to the same 

129 From the same to the same 

130 From the same to the same 

151 From the same to the same 

132 S. Poyntz, Esq. to Sir Thomas Lyt- 

tleton 

133 Lord Lyttleton to Sir Thomas Lyt- 

tleton 

134 From the same to the same. 

135 From the same to the same 

136 From the same to the same 

137 From the same to the same 

138 S. Poyntz, Esq. to Sir Thomas Lyt- 

tleton 

139 Lord Lyttleton to Sir Thomas Lyt- 

tleton 

140 The late Bishop Home to a young 

Clergyman 

141 William Cowper, Esq. to Joseph 

Hill, Esq 

142 From the same to Lady Hesketh. ... 

143 From the same to the same 

144 From the same to the same 

145 From the same to the same 

146 From the same to Major Cowper .. 

147 From the same to Mrs. t'owper 

148 From the same to the same 

149 From the same to the Rev. William 

Unwin 

150 From the same to the same 

151 From the same to the same 

152 From the same to the Rev. John 

Newton 

153 From the same to the Rev. William 

Unwin 

154 From the same to Mrs. Cowper 



Page 
506 

507 
508 

ibid. 

ibid. 

509 

510 

ibid. 

ibid. 
511 
512 

ibid. 

513 

514 
ibid. 

515 
ibid. 

516 
ibid. 

517 
ibid. 

518 

ibid. 

519 
ibid. 

520 

521 

522 
ibid. 

523 
ibid. 

526 

ibid. 

527 

ibid. 

528 

529 

ibid. 

ibid. 

530 

531 

532 
ibid. 

533 

535 
ibid. 

536 
ibid. 

537 

538 
ibid. 
539 

540 

ibid. 
541 



CONTENTS. 



XT 



Letter 

J 5.5 Wiliiaai Cowper, Esq. to the Rev. 

William Unwin 

]5(i From the same to the same 

157 From the same to Mrs Cowper 

158 From the same to the Rev. William 

Unn-jn 

139 From the same to the same 

1 60 From the same to Joseph Hill, Esq. 

161 From the same to the Rev. William 

Unv/in 

162 From the same to the same 

163 From the same to the same 

I(j4 From the same to the same 

165 From the same to the same 

1{)6 From the same to the same 

167 From the same to the same 

16S From the same to the same 

169 From the same to the same 

170 From the same to the same 

171 From the same to the same 

17'2 From the same to the same 

173 From the same to the Rev. John 

Newton 

174 From the same to the Rev. William 

Unwin 

175 From the same to the Rev. John 

Newton 

176 From the same to the Rev. William 

Unwin 

177 From the same to the same 

178 From the same to the Rev. John 

Newton 

1 79 From the same to the Rev. William 

Unwin 

180 From the same to the same 

181 From the same to the same 

1 8'2 From the same to the same 

183 From the same to the same 

184 From the same to the Rev. John 

Newton 

1 85 From the same to the same 

1 86 From the same to the same 

187 From the same to the Rev. William 

Unwin 

188 P'rom the same to the same 

189 From the same to the same 

190 From the same to the Rev. John 

Newton 

From the same to the same 

From the same to the Rev. William 

Unwin 

From the same to the Rev. John 

Newton 

194 From the same to the same 

1 95 From the same to the Rev. William 

Unwin 

From the same to the Rev. John 

Newton 

From the same to Joseph Hill, Esq. 
From the same to the Rev. William 

Unwin 

199 From the same to the same 

200 From the same to Joseph Hill, Esq. 

201 From the same to the Rev. William 

Unwin 

202 rrom the same to Lady Hesketh ... 

203 From the same to the same 

204 From the same to the same 

205 From the same to the same. 

20t From the same to the same 

307 From the same to the same 



191 
192 



19 



196 



197 
195 



Page 

542 

ibid. 

543 

544 

ibid. 

545 

546 
547 
548 
549 

ibid. 
550 
551 
552 

ibid. 
-553 
554 
556 

557 

ibid. 

558 

559 

560 

561 

562 
563 
564 
565 
566 

567 
568 
569 

ibid. 

570 
571 

572 
573 

574 

575 

576 

577 

578 
579 

ibid. 

580 
581 

582 
583 
584 
ibid. 
585 
586 
587 1 



Letter Page 

208 William Cowper, Esq. to Lady Hes- 

keth 588 

209 From the same to the Rev. Walter 

Bagot 589 

210 From the same to Lady Hesketh ... ibid. 

211 From the same to the same 591 

212 From the same to the same 592 

213 From the same to the same 593 

214 From the same to the same 594 

215 From the same to the Rev. William 

Unwin 595 

216 From the same to the same 596 

217 From the same to Lady Hesketh ... 597 

218 From the same to the same 598 

219 From the same to Sam. Rose, Esq. ibid. 

220 From the same to Lady Hesketh ... 599 

221 From the same to the same ibid. 

222 From the same to the same. 600 

223 From the same to the same 601 

SECTION IV. 

From the Letters of Dr. Beattie.. Sir 
William Jones, and others. 

1 Dr. Beattie to Robert Arbuthnot, 

Esq 603 

2 From the same to Sir Wm. Forbes ibid. 

3 From the same to the same 604 

4 From the same to Dr. Blacklock .... 606 

5 From the same to the Hon. Charles 

Boyd 607 

6 From the same to Sir Wm. Forbes 608 

7 From the same to the same ibid. 

8 From the same to Dr. Blacklock ... 610 

9 From the same to Mrs. Inglis 611 

10 From the same to the Right Hon. 

the Dowager Lady Forbes 613 

11 From the same to Sir W. Forbes .... 614 

12 From the same to Mrs. Montagu.... ibid. 

13 From the same to the same 615 

14 From the same to the same 616 

15 The Rev. Dr. Porteus to Dr. Beattie 617 

16 Dr. Beattie to the Rev. Dr. Porteus ibid. 

17 From the same to the same 619 

18 Mrs. Montagu to Dr. Beattie 620 

19 Dr. Beattie to Mrs. Montagu 621 

20 From the same to the Hon. Mr. Ba- 

ron Gordon 622 

21 From the same to the Duchess of 

Gordon 625 

22 From the same to the same 624 

23 From the same to the same 626 

24 From the same to Sir W. Forbes ... ibid. 

25 Mr. Jones, at the age of fourteen, to 

his Sister 627 

26 From the same to Lady Spencer. .. 628 

27 From the same to N. B. Halhed 629 

28 From the same to Lady Spencer ... 630 

29 From the same to the same ibid. 

SO From the same to C Reviczki 631 

31 From the same to J. Wilmot, Esq... 632 

32 From the same to Mr. Hawkins 633 

33 Dr. Hunt to Mr. Jones ibid. 

34 Mr. Jones to F. P. Bayer 634 

S5 From the same to Lord Althorpe ... 635 

36 Edmund Burke to Mr. Jones 636 

37 Mr. Jones to Lord Althorpe ibid. 

38 From the same to the same 637 

b 



xvm 



CONTENTS. 



Letter Page 

3^ Mr. Jones to the Rev. E. Cartwright 038 

40 From the same to Dr. Wheeler ibid. 

41 From the same to the Bishop of St. 

Asaph , 639 

42 The Bishop of bt Asaph to Mr. 

Jones ibitl. 

43 Mr. Jones to Lord Althorpe 640 

44 From the same to Mr. Thomas 

Yeates 641 

45 From the same to the Bishop of St. 

Asaph ibid. 

46 From the same to Lady Spencer.... 642 

47 Sir William Jones to Lord Ashbur- 

ton 643 

48 From the same to Dr. Patrick Rus- 

sell ibid. 

49 From the same to — 644 

50 From the same to Charles Chap- 

man, Esq ibid. 

51 From the same to Miss E. Shipley.. 645 

52 From the same to J. Shore, Esq. ... ibid. 

53 From the same to the same 646 

54 From the same to Thomas Caldicot, 

Esq ibid. 

55 From the same to Mr. Justice Hyde 647 

56 From the same to Sir Joseph Banks., ibid. 

57 From the sametoSir J. Macpherson, 

Bart 648 

58 From the same toAVarren Hastings, 

Esq 649 

59 From the same to Lord Teignmouth ibid. 

60 From Dr. Young to Mr. Richardson 650 

61 Mr. Richardson to Dr. Young ibid. 

62 Miss Collier to Mr. Kichardson 651 

63 Mr. Richardson to Miss Collier 652 

64 From the same to the same ... 653 

65 Miss Collier to Mr. Richardson 654 

66 Mr. Richardson to Miss Highmore.. 655 

67 From the same to the same 656 

68 From the same to the same 658 

69 From the same to the same 659 

70 Lady Kchlin to Mr. Richardson 660 

71 Mr.Richardson to Lady Echlin...... 661 

72 Lady Echlin to Mr. Richardson 662 

73 Mr Richardson to Lady Echlin 663 

74 Lady Echlin to Mr.Richardson ibid. 

75 Mr. Richardson to Lady Echlin 664 

76 Lady Bradshaigh to Mr. Richardson ibid. 

77 Mr. Richardson to Lady Bradshaigh 666 

78 From the same to the same 667 

79 From the same to the same 668 

80 Lady Bradshaigh to Mr. Pvichardson 670 

81 Mr. Richardson to Lady Bradshaigh 672 

82 From the same to the same 674 

83 From the same to the same 677 

84 Lady Bradshaigh to Mr. Richardson 678 

85 Edward Gibbon, Esq. to his Father.. 680 

86 FromthesametoJ. B. Holroyd,Esq. 681 

87 From the same to the same 682 

88 From the same to the same, at 

Edinburgh 685 

89 From the same to the same 684 

90 From the same to the same 685 

91 From the same to the Right Hon. 

Lord Sheffield ibid. 

92 From the same to the Right Hon. 

Lady Sheffield 686 

93 From the same to the Right Hon. 

Lord Sheffield 687 

94 From the same to the same 688 

95 From the same to Mrs. Porten 689 



Letter Page 

96 Edward Gibbon, to the Right Hon. 

Lord Sheffield 691 

97 From the same to the same 692 

98 From the same to the same 693 

99 Anna Seward to George Hardinge, 

Esq 694 

100 From the same to Captain Seward . 695 

101 From the same to Miss Weston 697 

102 From the same to Thomas Swift, 

Esq , 69^* 

103 From the same to, Thomas Christie, 

Esq 700 

104 From the same to Lady Gresley ... 701 

105 From the same to Mrs. Stokes 704 

106 From the same to Thomas Park, 

Esq 705 

1 07 From the same to Walter Scott, Esq. 708 

108 From the same to Miss Fern 710 

109 Mr. Warburton to Mr. Hurd 7l2 

110 Mr. Hurd to Dr. Warburton ibid. 

111 From the same to the same 713 

1J2 Dr. Warburton to Mr. Hurd ibid. 

113 From the same to the same 714 

114 Mr. Hurd to Dr. Warburton ibid. 

115 From the same to the Bishop of 

Gloucester 716 

116 The Bishop of Gloucester to Mr. 

Hurd ibid. 

117 Mr. Hurd to the Bishop of Glouces- 

ter ibid. 

118 The Bishop of Gloucester to Mr. 

Hurd 717 

119 From the same to the same ibid. 

120 Mr. Hurd to the Bp. of Gloucester... 718 

121 The Bishop of Gloucester to Mr, 

Hurd 719 

122 From the same to the same 720 

123 Mr. Hurd to the Bp. of Gloucester... 721 

124 The Bp. of Gloucester to Mr. Hurd 722 

125 From the same to the same ibid. 

126 From the same to the same 723 

127 Dr. Hurd to the Bp. of Gloucester... ibid. 

128 The Bp. of Gloucester to Mr. Hurd 724 

129 The RiL-ht Hon. C. J. Fox to Mr. 

WakeQeld 725 

130 From the same to the same ibid. 

131 From the same to the same ibid. 

132 From the same to the same ibid. 

133 From the same to the same 726 

134 From the same to the same ibid. 

135 From the same to the same 727 

136 From the same to the same ibid. 

137 From the same to the same ibid. 

138 From the same lo the same 728 

139 From the same to the same ibid. 

140 From the same to the same ibid. 

141 From the same to the same 729 

142 From the same to the same ibid. 

143 From the same to the same .. ibid. 

144 From the same to the same 750 

145 From the same to the same ibid. 

146 From the same to the same 731 

SECTION V. 

From the Letters of Horace Walpole, 
Earl of Orford, and Dr. Frank- 
lin. 

1 The Hon. Horace Walpole to Richard 

West, Esq 735 



CONTENTS. 



XIX 



Letter Page 

2 The Hon. Horace Walpole to Richard 

West, Esq 734 

3 From the same to the same 735 

4 From the same to the same 736 

5 The Hou. Horace Walpole and Mr. 

Gray to Richard West, Esq 737 

6 The Hon. Horace Walpole to Richard 

West, Esq 739 

7 From the same to John Chute, Esq... 740 

8 From the same to Richard Bentlev, 

Esq , ;.. 742 

9 From the same to the same 743 

10 From the same to George Montague, 

Esq 746 

11 From the same to the same 747 

12 From the same to the same,. 748 

13 From the same to the same 749 

I'l From the same to the same 751 

15 From the same to the same 752 

16 From the same to the same 753 

17 From the same to the Hon. H. S. Con- 

way 754 

18 From the same to the same 755 

19 From the same to George Montague, 

Esq ibid. 

20 From the same to the same 757 

21 From the same to the Hon. H. S. 

Conway ibid. 

22 From the same to the same 758 

23 From the same to the same 759 

24 From the same to George Montague, 

Esq. ibid. 

25 From the same to the Rev. Mr. 

Cole 760 

26 From the same to George Montague, 

Esq 761 

27 From the same to the same 762 

68 From the same to the same 763 

29 From the same to Mr. Gray 764 

30 From the same to the same 768 

31 From the same to George Montague, 

Esq 769 

32 From the same to M. de Voltaire 770 

33 From the same to the same 771 

34 From the same to the Hon. H. S. 

Conway 772 

35 From the same to the same 773 

36 From the same to Dr. Gem 775 

37 From the same to the Rev. Mr. Cole 776 

38 From the same to the same 777 

39 From the same to the Earl of Straf- 

ford ibid. 

40 From the same to the Rev. Mr. Cole 778 

41 From the same to the Earl of Straf- 

ford 779 

42 From the same to the same 780 

43 From the same to Mr. Pinkerton...... 781 



Letter Page 

44 The Hon. Horace Wapole to the Earl 

of Strafford 783 

45 From the same to Lady Craven 784 

46 The Earl of Orford to Mrs. H. More.. 785 

47 From the same to the Hon. H. S. 

Conway 786 

48 From the same to William Roscoe, 

Esq 787 

49 From the same to the Countess of 

**** 788 

50 From Dr. Franklin to Mr. George 

Whitfield ibid. 

51 From the same to Miss Stevenson at 

Wanstead , 789 

52 From the same to John Alleyne, 

Esq 790 

53 From the same to Governor Franklin, 

New Jersey , 791 

54 From the same to Dr. Priestley ibid; 

55 From the same to Mrs. Thomas, at 

Lisle.; 792 

56 From the same to Dr. Cowper, Bos- 

ton , 793 

57 From the same to Dr. Price, London ibid. 

58 From the same to General Washing- 

ton 794< 

59 From the same to Mr. Small, Paris., ibid. 

60 From the same to Miss Georgiana 

Shipley 795 

61 From the same to the Rev. William 

Nixon 796 

69 From the same to Edmund Burke, 

Esq. M. P ibid. 

63 From the same to the Rev. Dr. Priest- 

ley ibid. 

64 From the same to Dr. Shipley, Bishop 

of St. Asaph 797 

65 From the same to Miss Alexander.... 798 

66 From the same to Mrs. Hewson ibid. 

67 From the same to the Bishop of St. 

Asaph (Dr. Shipley) 799 

68 From the same to Sir Joseph Banks... 800 

69 From the same to Mrs. Bache ibid. 

70 From the same to B. Vaughan, Esq. 803 

71 From the same to David Hartley, 

Esq. M. P 806 

72 From the same to Dr. Shipley, Bishop 

of St. Asaph ibid. 

73 From the same to Mrs. Hewson, 

London 808 

74 From the same to M. le Marquis do 

la Fayette 809 

75 From the same to Count de Buffon, 

Paris 810 

76 From the same to Dr. Rush ibid. 

77 From the same to David Hartley, Esq. 81 1 

78 From the same to ***** ibid. 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



BOOK THE FIRST. 
ANCIENT AND CLASSICAL. 



SECTION I. 



FROM THE LETTERS OF MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO, TO SEVERAL OF HIS 
FRIENDS, AS TRANSLATED BY WILLIAM MELMOTH, ESQ. 



LETTER I. 

To Terentia, to my dearest Tullia, and to 
my Son, 

Brundisium, April the 30th. [A. U. 695.] 

If you do not hear from me so fre- 
quently as you might, it Is because I 
can neither write to you nor read your 
letters, without falling into greater grief 
than I am able to support ; for though I 
am at all times indeed completely miser- 
able, yet I feel my misfortunes with a 
particular sensibility upon those tender 
occasions. 

Oh that I had been more indiflFerent 
to life ! Our days would then have been, 
if not wholly unacquainted with sorrow, 
yet by no means thus wretched. How- 
ever, if any hopes are still reserved to us 
of recovering some part at least of what 
we have lost, I shall not think that I have 
made altogether so imprudent a choice. 
But if our present fate is unalterably 
fixed— Ah! my dearest Terentia, if we 
are utterly and for ever abandoned by 
those gods whom you have so religi- 
ously adored, and by those men whom I 
have so faithfully served, let me see you 
as soon as possible, that I may have the 
satisfaction of breathing out my last de- 
parting sigh in your arms. 

I have spent about a fortnight in this 



place*, with my friend Marcus Flaccus. 
This worthy man did not scruple to ex- 
ercise the rights of friendship and hospi- 
tality towards me, notwithstanding the 
severe penalties of that iniquitous law 
against those who should venture to give 
me reception f. May I one day have it 
in my power to make him a return to 
those generous services, which I shall 
ever most gratefully remember ! 

I am just going to embark, and pirt*- 
pose to pass through Macedonia in my 
way to CyzicumJ. And now, my Te- 
rentia, thus wretched and ruined as I am, 
can I intreat you under all that weight of 
pain and sorrow with which, 1 too well 
know, you are oppressed, can I intreat 
you to be the partner and companion of 
my exile ? — But must I then live without 
you ? I know not how to reconcile my- 
self to that hard condition ; unless your 

* Brundisium j a maritime town in the king- 
dom of Naples, now called Brindisi. Cicero, 
when he first withdrew from Rome, intended 
to have retired into Sicily ; but being denied 
entrance by the governor of that island, he 
changed his direction, and came to Brundi- 
sium in his way to Greece. 

f As soon as Cicero had withdrawn from 
Rome Clodius procured a law, Avhich among 
other things enacted, " that no person should 
presume to harbour or receive him on pain of 
death." 

X A considerable town in an island of the 
Propontis, which lay so close to the continent 
of Asia as to be joined with it by a bridge. 

B 



2 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



presence at Rome may be a mean of for- 
warding my return : if any hopes of that 
kind should indeed subsist. But should 
there, as I sadly suspect, be absolutely 
none ; come to me, I conjure you, if it 
be possible : for never can I think myself 
completely ruined, whilst I shall enjoy 
my Terentia's company. But how will 
my dearest daughter dispose of herself? 
A question which you yourselves must 
consider : for, as to my own part, I am 
utterly at a loss what to advise. At all 
events, however, that dear unhappy girl 
must not take any measures that may in- 
jure her conjugal repose*, or affect her 
in the good opinion of the world. As 
for my son — let me not at least be de- 
prived of the consolation of folding him 
for ever in my arms. But I must lay 
down my pen a few moments : my tears 
flow too fast to suffer me to proceed. 

I am under the utmost solicitude, as I 
know not whether you have been able to 
preserve any part of your estate, or (what 
I sadly fear) are cruelly robbed of your 
whole fortune. I hope Pisof will always 
continue what you represent him to be, 
entirely ours. — As to the manumission of 
the slaves, I think you have no occasion 
to be uneasy. For with regard to your 
own, you only promised them their li- 
berty as they should deserve it : but ex- 
cepting Orpheus, there are none of them 
that have any great claim to this favour. 
As to mine, I told them, if my estate 
should be forfeited, I would give them 
their freedom, provided I could obtain 
the confirmation of that grant ; but if I 
preserved my estate, that they should all 
of them, excepting only a few whom I 
particularly named, remain in their pre- 
sent condition. But this is a matter of 
little consequence. 

With regard to the advice you give me, 
of keeping up my spirits, in the belief 
that I shall again be restored to my coun- 
try ; I only wish that I may have reason 
to encourage so desirable an expectation. 
In the mean time, I am greatly miserable, 
in the uncertainty when I shall hear 
from you, or what hand you will find to 
convey your letters. I would have waited 
for them at this place ; but the master of 
the ship on which I am going to embark 

* Tullia was at this time married to Caius 
Piso Frugi, a young nobleman of one of the 
best families in Rome. 

f Cicero's son-in-law. 



could not be prevailed upon to lose the 
present opportunity of sailing. 

For the rest, let me conjure you in my 
turn, to bear up under the pressure of our 
afilictions with as much resolution as pos- 
sible. Remember that my days have all 
been honourable ; and that I now suffer, 
not for my crimes, but my virtues. No, 
my Terentia, nothing can justly be im- 
puted to me, but that I survived the loss 
of my dignities. However, if it was 
more agreeable to our children that I 
should thus live, let that reflection teach 
us to submit to our misfortunes with 
cheerfulness ; insupportable as upon all 
other considerations they would undoubt- 
edly be. But, alas ! whilst I am endea- 
vouring to keep up your spirits, I am 
utterly unable to preserve my own. 

I have sent back the faithful Philetae- 
rus ; as the v/eakness of his eyes made 
him incapable of rendering me any ser- 
vice. Nothing can equal the good offices 
I receive from Sallustius. Pescennius 
likewise has given me strong marks of 
his affection : and I hope he will not fail 
in his respect also to you. Sicca pro- 
mised to attend me in my exile ; but he 
changed his mind, and has left me at 
this place. 

I intreat you to take all possible care 
of your health : and be assured, your 
misfortunes more sensibly affect me than 
my own. Adieu, my Terentia, thou most 
faithful and best of wives ! Adieu. And 
thou, my dearest daughter, together with 
that other consolation of my life, my 
dear son, I bid you both most tenderly 
farewell. 

LETTER 11. 

To Terentia, to my dearest Tullia, and to 
my Son. 

Thessalonicat, Oct. the 5th. [A. U. fi95.] 
Imagine not, my Terentia, that I write 
longer^ letters to others than to your- 
self: be assured at least, if ever I do, 
it is merely because those 1 receive from 
them require a more particular answer. 
The truth of it is, I am always at a loss 
what to write : and as there is nothing in 
the present dejection of my mind, that I 
perform with greater reluctance in ge- 
neral ; so I never attempt it with regard 
to you and my dearest daughter, that it 

I A city in Macedonia, now called Salonichi. 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



does not cost me a flood of tears. For 
how can 1 think of you without being 
pierced with grief in the reflection, that 
I have made those completely miserable, 
whom I ought, and ^vished, to have ren- 
dered perfectly happy? And I should 
have rendered them so, if I had acted 
with less timidity. 

Piso's behaviour towards us, in this 
season of our afflictions, has greatly en- 
deared him to my heart : and I have, as 
well as I was able in the present discom- 
posure of my mind, exhorted him to 
continue them. 

I perceive you much depend upon the 
new tribunes : and if Pompey perseveres 
in his present disposition, I am inclined to 
think that your hopes will not be disap- 
pointed ; though I must confess, I have 
some fears with respect to Crassus. In 
the mean while I have the satisfaction to 
And, what indeed I had reason to expect, 
that you act with great spirit and tender- 
ness in all my concerns. But I lament it 
should be my cruel fate to expose you to 
so many calamities, whilst you are thus 
generously endeavouring to ease the 
weight of mine. Be assured it was with 
the utmost grief I read the account which 
Publius sent me, of the opprobrious man- 
ner in which you were dragged from the 
temple of Vesta to the office of Valerius*. 
Sad reverse indeed ! that thou, the dear- 
est object of my fondest desires, that 
my Terentia, to whom such numbers 
were wont to look up for relief, should 
he herself a spectacle of the most affect- 
ing distress ! and that I, who have saved 
so many others from ruin, should have 
ruined both myself and my family by my 
own indiscretion ! 

As to what you mention with regard 
to the area belonging to my house ; I 
shall never look upon myself as restored 
to my country, till that spot of ground 
is again in my possessionf. But this is a 
point that does not depend upon our- 
selves. Let me rather express my con- 
cern for what does : and lament that dis- 



* Terentia had taken sanctuary in the temple 
of Vesta; but was foicibly dragged out from 
thence by the directions of Clodius, in order to 
be examined at a public office, concerning her 
husband's effects. 

f After Clodius had procured the law against 
Cicero already taken notice of, he consecrated 
the area where his house in Rome stood, to the 
perpetual service of religioo, and erected a 
temple upon it to the Goddess of Liberty. 



tressed as your circumstances already 
are, you should engage yourself in a share 
of those expenses which are incurred 
upon my account. Be assured, if ever I 
should return to Rome, I shall easily re- 
cover my estate : but should fortune con- 
tinue to prosecute me, will you, thou dear 
unhappy woman, will you fondly throw 
away in gaining friends to a desperate 
cause, the last scanty remains of your 
broken fortunes ? I conjure you then , my 
dearest Terentia, not to involve yourself 
in any charges of that kind : let them be 
borne by those who are able, if they are 
willing, to support the weight. In a 
word, if you have any affection for me, 
let not your anxiety upon my account in- 
jui-e your health ; which, alas ! is already 
but too much impaired. Believe me, you 
are the perpetual subject of my waking 
and sleeping thoughts : and as I know 
the assiduity you exert on my behalf, I 
have a thousand fears lest your strength 
should not be equal to so continued a fa- 
tigue. I am sensible at the same time, 
that my affairs depend entirely upon your 
assistance ; and therefore that they may 
be attended with the success you hope 
and so zealously endeavour to obtain, 
let me earnestly intreat you to take care 
of yoiu* health. 

I know iiot whom to write to, unless 
to those who first write to me, or whom 
you particularly mention in your letters. 
As you and Tullia are of opinion that 1 
should not retreat farther from Italy, I 
have laid aside that design. Let me hear 
from you both as soon as possible, par- 
ticularly if there should be any fairer 
prospect of my return. Farewell, ye 
dearest objects of my most tender affec- 



LETTER III. 

To the same. 

Dyrrachiumt, Nov. 26. [A. U. G95.] 
I LEARN hy the letters of several of my 
friends, as well as from general report, 
that you discover the greatest fortitude of 
mind, and that you solicit my affairs with 
unwearied application. Oh, my Teren- 
tia, how truly wretched am I, to be the 

-+ A city in Macedonia, now called Durazzo, 
in the Turkish dominions. This letter, though 
dated from Dyrrachium, appears to have been 
wholly written, except the postscript, at Thes- 
salonica. 

B 2 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



occasion of such severe misfortunes to 
so faithful, so generous, and so excellent 
a woman ! And my dearest Tullia too ! 
that she, who was once so happy in her 
father, should now derive from him such 
bitter sorrows ! But how shall I express 
the anguish I feel for my little boy ! who 
became acquainted with grief as soon as 
he was capable of any reflection*. Had 
these afflictions happened, as you ten- 
derly represent them, by an unavoidable 
fate, they would have sat less heavy on 
my heart. But they are altogether 
owing to my own folly, in imagining I 
was loved where I was secretly envied, 
and in not joining with those who were 
sincerely desirous of my friendshipf. Had 
I been governed, indeed, by my own 
sentiments, without relying so much on 
those of my weak or wicked advisers, we 
might still, my Terentia, have been happy. 
However, since my friends encourage 
me to hope, I will end-eavour to restrain 
my grief, lest the effect it may have 
upon my health should disappoint your 
tender efforts for my restoration. I am 
sensible at the same time of the many 
difficulties that must be conquered ere 
that point can be affected ; and that it 
would have been much easier to have 
maintained my post, than it is to recover 
It. Nevertheless, if all the tribunes are 
in my interest ; if Lentulus is really as 
zealous in my cause as he appears ; and 
if Pompey and Caesar likewise concur 
with him in the same views, I ought not, 
most certainly, to despair. 

With regard to our slaves ; I am will- 
ing to act as our friends, you tell me, ad- 
vise. As to your concern in respect to 
the plague Avhich broke out here ; it is 
entirely cesaed : and I had the good for- 
tune to escape all infection. However, it 
was my desire to have changed my pre- 
sent situation for some more retired place 
in Epirus, where I might be secure from 
Piso and his soldiers]:. But the obliging 

* Cicero's son was at this time about eight 
years of age, 

f Csesar and Crassus frequently solicited Ci- 
cero to unite himself to their party, promising to 
protect him from the outrages of Clodius, pro- 
vided he would fall in with their measures. 

+ Lucius Calphurnius Piso, who was consul 
this year with Gabinius: they were both the 
professed enemies of Cicero, and supported 
Clodius in his violent measures. The province 
of Macedonia had fallen to the former, and he 
was now preparing to set out for his govern- 
ment, where his troops were daily arriving. 



Plancius was unwilling to part with me, 
and still indeed detains me here, in the 
hope that we may return together to 
Rome§. If ever I should live to see that 
happy day ; if ever I should be restored 
to my Terentia, to my children, and to 
myself, I shall think all the tender solici- 
tudes we have suffered during this sad 
separation abundantly repaid. 

Nothing can exceed the affection and 
humanity of Piso's|| behaviour towards 
every one of us : and 1 wish he may re- 
ceive from it as much satisfaction as I 
am persuaded he will honour. — I was far 
from intending to blame you with respect 
to my brother ; but it is much my desire, 
especially as there are so few of you, that 
you should live together in the most per- 
fect harmony. I have made my acknow- 
ledgments where you desired, and ac- 
quainted the persons you mention that 
you had informed me of their services. 

As to the estate you propose to sell ; 
alas ! my dear Terentia, think well of 
the consequence : think what would be- 
come of our unhappy boy, should for- 
tune still continue to persecute us. But 
my eyes stream too fast to suffer me to 
add more : nor would I draw the same 
tender flood from yours. I will only say, 
that if my friends should not desert me, I 
shall be in no distress for money : and if 
they should, the money you can raise by 
the sale of this estate will little avail. I 
conjure you then by all our misfortunes, 
let us not absolutely ruin our poor boy, 
who is well nigh totally undone already. 
If we can but raise him above indigence, 
a moderate share of good fortune and 
merit will be sufficient to open his way 
to whatever else we can wish him to ob- 
tain. Take care of your health, and let me 
know by an express how your negocia- 
tions proceed, and how affairs in general 
stand. — My fate must now be soon deter- 
mined. — I tenderly salute my son and 
daughter, and bid you all farewell. 

P. S. I came hither not only as it is 
a free city^, and much in my interest, 
but as it is situated likewise near Italy. 
But if I should find any inconvenience 
from its being a town of such great re- 

§ Plancius was at this time quagstor in Ma- 
cedonia, and distinguished himself by many 
generous offices to Cicero in his exile. 

II Cicero's son-in-law. 

^ That is, a city which had the privilege, 
though in the dominions of the Roman repub- 
lic, to be governed by its own laws. 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



sort, I sliail remove elsewhere, and give 
you due notice. 



LETTER IV. 

To Terentia. 
Dyrrachiiun, Nov. the 30th. [A. U. C95 ] 

1 RECEIVED three letters from you by 
the hands of Aristocritus, and have 
wept over them till they are almost de- 
faced with my tears. Ah ! my Terentia, 
I am worn out with grief : nor do my 
own personal misfortunes more severely 
torture my mind, than those with which 
you and my children are oppressed. Un- 
happy indeed as you are, I am stili infi- 
nitely more so ; as our common afflic- 
tions are attended with this ag'gravating 
circumstance to myself, that they are 
justly to be imputed to my imprudence 
alone . I ought, most undoubtedly, either 
to have avoided the danger, by accepting 
the commission which was offered me ; 
or to have repelled force by force, or 
bravely to have perished in the attempt. 
Wliereas nothing could have been more 
unworthy of my character, or more preg- 
nant with misery, than the scheme I have 
pursued. I am overwhelmed, therefore, 
not only with sorrow, but with shame : 
yes, my Terentia, I blush to reflect that 
I did not exert that spirit I ought for the 
sake of so excellent a wife and such ami- 
able children. The distress in which you 
are all equally involved, and your own 
ill state of health in particular, are ever 
in my thoughts : as I have the mortifi- 
cation at the same time to observe, that 
there appear but slender hopes of my be- 
ing recalled. My enemies, in truth, are 
many ; while those who are jealous of me 
are almost innumerable ; and though they 
found great difficulty in driving me from 
my country, it will be extremely easy 
for them to prevent my return. How- 
ever, as long as you have any hopes that 
my restoration may be effected, I will not 
cease to co-operate with your endeavours 
for that purpose, lest my weakness should 
seem upon all occasions to frustrate every 
measure in my favour. In the mean 
while, my person (for which you are so 
tenderly concerned) is secure from all 
danger : as in truth I am so completely 
wretched, that even my enemies them- 
selves must wish, in mere malice, to pre- 
serve my life. Nevertheless, I shall not 



fail to observe the caution you kindly 
give me. 

I have sent my acknowledgments by 
Dexippus to the persons you desired me, 
and mentioned at the same time, that you 
had informed me of their good offices. I 
am perfectly sensible of those which Piso 
exerts towards us with so uncommon a 
zeal : and indeed it is a circumstance 
which all the world speaks of to his ho- 
nour. Heaven grant I may live to enjoy 
with you and our children the common 
happiness of so valuable a relation^. 

The only hope I have now left, arises 
from the new tribunes ; and that too de- 
pends upon the steps they shall take in 
the com.mencement of their office : for if 
they should postpone my affair, I shall 
give up all expectations of its ever being 
effected. Accordingly I have dispatched 
Aristocritus, that you may send me im- 
mediate notice of the first measures they 
shall pursue, together with the general 
plan upon which they purpose to conduct 
themselves. I have likewise ordered 
Dexippus to return to me with all expe- 
dition, and have written to my brother to 
request he v/ould give me frequent in- 
formation in what manner affairs pro- 
ceed. It is with a view of receiving the 
earliest intelligence from Rome, that I 
continue at Dyrrachium ; a place v/liere I 
can remain in perfect security, as I have 
upon all occasions distinguished this city 
by my particular patronage. However, 
as soon as I shall receive intimation that 
my enemies t are approaching, it is my 
resolution to retire into Epirus. 

In answer to your tender proposal of 
accompanying me in my exile : I rather 
choose you should continue in Rome ; as 
I am sensible it is upon you that the 
principal burthen of my affairs must rest. 
If your generous negociations should 
succeed, my return will prevent the neces- 
sity of that joui'ney ; if otherwise 

But I need not add the rest. The next 
letter I shall receive from you, or at 

* He had the gieat misfortune to be disap- 
pointed of his wish; for Piso died soon after this 
letter was written. Cicero represents him as a 
young nobleman of the greatest talents and 
application, who devoted his whole time to the 
improveinents of his mind, and the exercise of 
eloquence: as one whose moral qualifications 
were no less extraordinary thaiihis intellectual, 
and in short as possessed of every accomplish- 
ment and virtue that could endear him to his 
friends, to his family, and to the public. 

f The troops of Piso. 



ELEGANT EPISTLES, 



Book I. 



most the subsequent one, will determine 
me in what manner to act. In the mean 
time I desire you will give me a full and 
faithful information how things go on : 
though indeed I have now more reason 
to expect the final result of this ajffair, 
than an account of its progress. 

Take care of your health I conjure 
you ; assuring yourself that you are, as 
you ever have been, the object of my 
fondest wishes. Farewell, my dear Te- 
rentia ! I see you so strongly before me 
whilst I am writing, that I am utterly 
spent with the tears I have shed. Once 
more, farewell. 

LETTER V. 

To Marcus Marius*. 

[A. U. 698 ] 
If your general valetudinary disposi- 
tion prevented you from being a specta- 
tor of our late public entertainments f, 
it is more to fortune than to philosophy 
that I am to impute your absence. But 
if you declined our party for no other 
reason than as holding in just contempt 
what the generality of the world so ab- 
surdly admire, I must at once congratu- 
late you both on your health and your 
judgment. I say this upon a supposition, 
however, that you were enjoying the phi- 
losophical advantages of that delightful 
scene, in which, I imagine, you were al- 
most v/holly deserted. At the same time 
that your neighbours, probably, were 
nodding over the dull humour of our 
trite farces, my friend, I dare say, was 
indulging his morning meditations in 
that elegant apartment from whence you 
have opened a prospect to Sejanum, 
through the Stabian hills |. And whilst 

* The person to whom this letter is addressed 
seems to have been of a temper and constitu- 
tion that placed him far below the ambition of 
being known to posterity. But a private letter 
from Cicero's hand has been sufficient to dis- 
pel the obscurity he appears to have loved, and 
to render his retirement conspicuous. 

f They were exhibited by Pompey at the 
opening of his theatre ; one of the most magnifi- 
cent structures of ancient Rome; and so exten- 
sive as to contain no less than 30,000 specta- 
tors. It was built after the model of one which 
he saw at Mitylene, in his return from the 
Mithridatic war ; and adorned with the noblest 
ornaments of statuary and painting. Some re- 
mains of this immense building still subsist. 

X Sejanum is found in no other ancient author. 
Stabiae was a maritime town in Campania, situ- 
ated upon the bay of Naples, from whence the 
adjoining hills here mentioned took their name. 



you were employing the rest of the day 
in those various polite amusements which 
you have the happy privilege to plan out 
for yourself ; we, alas! had the mortifi- 
cation of tamely enduring those drama- 
tical representations, to which Msetius, 
it seems, our professed critic, had given 
his infallible sanction : but as you will 
have the curiosity, perhaps, to require a 
more particular account, I must tell you, 
that though our entertainments were 
extremely magnificent indeed, yet they 
were by no means such as you would 
have relished ; at least if I may judge of 
your taste by my own. Some of those 
actors who had formerly distinguished 
themselves with great applause, but had 
long since retired, I imagined, in order 
to preserve the reputation they had raised, 
were now again introduced upon the 
stage ; as in honour, it seems, of the fes- 
tival. Among these was my old friend 
iEsopus : but so difi^erent from what we 
once knew him, that the whole audience 
agreed he ought to be excused from act- 
ing any more. For when he was pro- 
nouncing the celebrated oath, 



If I deceive, be Jove's dread vengeance hurl'd, 
&c. 



the poor old man's voice failed him ; and 
he had not strength to go through with 
the speech. As to the other parts of 
our theatrical entertainments, you know 
the nature of them so well, that it is 
scarce necessary to mention them. They 
had less indeed to plead in their favour 
than even the most ordinary represen- 
tations of this kind can usually claim. 
The enormous parade with which they 
were attended, and which, I dare say, 
you would very willingly have spared, 
destroyed all the grace of the perform- 
ance. What pleasure could it afford to 
a judicious spectator, to see a thousand 
mules prancing about the stage, in the 
tragedy of Clytsemnestra ; or whole re- 
giments accoutred in foreign armour, in 
that of the Trojan Horse F In a word, 
what man of sense could be entertained 
with viewing a mock army drawn up on 
the stage in battle array ? These, I con- 
fess, are spectacles extremely well adapt- 
ed to captivate vulgar eyes ; but un- 
doubtedly would have had no charm in 
your's. In plain truth, my friend, you 
would have received more amusement 
from the dullest piece that Protogenes 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



could possibly have read to you* (my own 
orations, however, let me always except), 
than we meet with at these ridiculous 
shows. 1 am well persuaded, at least, 
you could not regret the loss of our Os- 
cian and Grecian farces f. Your own 
noble senate will always furnish you 
with drollery sufficient of the former 
kind 'I ; and as to the latter, I know you 
have such an utter aversion to every 
thing- that bears the name of Greek, that 
you will not even travel the Grecian 
road to your ^dlla. As 1 remember 
you once despised our formidable gla- 
diators, I cannot suppose you would 
have looked with less contempt on our 
athletic performers : and, indeed, Pom- 
pey himself acknowledges, that they did 
not answer the pains and expense they 
had cost him. The remainder of our 
diversions consisted in combats of wild 
beasts §, which were exhibited every 
morning and afternoon during five days 
successively ; and it must be owned, 
they were magnificent. Yet, after all, 
what entertainment can possibly arise to 
an elegant and humanised mind, from 
seeing a noble beast struck to the heart 
by its merciless hunter, or one of our 
own weak species cruelly mangled by an 
animal of much superior strength ? But 
were there any thing really v/orth ob- 
serving in spectacles of this savage kind, 
they are spectacles extremely familiar to 
you ; and those I am speaking of had 
not any peculiar novelty to recom- 
mend them. The last day's sport was 
^composed entirely of elephants, which, 
though they made the common people 

* It was usual with persons of distinction 
amongst the Romans to keep a slave in their 
family, whose sole business it was to read to 
thera. Protogenes seems to have attended 
Marius in that capacity. 

f The Oscian farces were so called from 
the Osci, an ancient people of Campania, 
from whom the Romans received them. They 
seem to have been of the same kind with our 
Bartholomew drolls, and to have consisted of 
low and obscene humour. 

X The municipal or corporate towns in 
Italy were governed by magistrates of their 
own, who probably made much the same sort 
of figure in their rural senate, as our burgesses 
in their town hall. 

§ Beasts of the wildest and most uncommon 
kinds were sent for, upon these occasions, from 
every corner of the known world : and Dion 
Cassius relates, that no less than 500 lions 
were killed at these hunting matches with 
which Pompey entertained the people. 



stare indeed, did not seem, however, to 
afford them any great satisfaction. On 
the contrary, the terrible slaughter of 
these poor animals created a general 
commiseration ; as it is a prevailing no- 
tion, that these creatures in some degree 
participate of our rational faculties. 

That you may not imagine I had the 
happiness of being perfectly at my ease 
during the whole of this pompous festi- 
val, I must acquaint you, that while the 
people v»^ere amusing themselves at the 
plays, I was almost killed with the fa- 
tigue of pleading for your friend Gallus 
Caninus. Were the world as much in- 
clined to favour my retreat, as they 
shewed themselves in the case of ^sopus, 
believe me, I would for ever renounce my 
art, and spend the remainder of my days 
with you and some others of the same 
philosophical turn. The truth of it is, I 
began to grow weary of this employ- 
ment, even at a time when youth and 
ambition prompted my perseverance ; 
and I will add too, when I was at full 
liberty to exercise it in defence of those 
only whom I was inclined to assist. But 
in my present circumstances, it is abso- 
lute slavery : for, on the one side, I 
never expect to reap any advantage from 
my labours of this kind ; and, on the 
other, in compliance with solicitations 
which I cannot refuse, I am sometimes 
under the disagreeable necessity of ap- 
pearing as an advocate in behalf of those 
who ill deserve that favour at my hands. 
For these reasons, I am framing every 
possible pretence for living hereafter ac- 
cording to my own taste and sentiments ; 
as I highly both approve and applaud 
that retired scene of life which you have 
so judiciously chosen. I am sensible at 
the same time, that this is the reason 
you so seldom visit Rome. However, I 
the less regret that you do not see it 
oftener, as the numberless unpleasing 
occupations in which I am engaged 
would prevent me from enjoying the en- 
tertainment of your conversation, or 
giving you that of mine ; if mine, in- 
deed, can afford you any. But if ever I 
should be so fortunate as to disentangle 
myself, in some degree fit least (for I am 
contented not to be wholly released), 
from these perplexing embarrassments, 
I will undertake to shew even my 
elegant friend, wherein the truest re- 
finements of life consist. In the mean 
while, continue to take care of yriir 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book f. 



health, that you may be able, when that 
happy time shall arrive, to accompany 
mjd in my litter to my several villas. 

You must impute it to the excess of 
my friendship, and not to the abundance 
of my leisure, that I have leng-thened 
this letter beyond my usual extent. It 
was merely in compliance with a request 
in one of yours, where you intimate a 
desire that I would compensate in this 
manner what you lost by not being pre- 
sent at our public diversions. I shall 
be extremely glad, if I have succeeded ; 
if not, I shall have the satisfaction how- 
ever to think, that you will for the future 
be more inclined to give us your com- 
pany on these occasions, than to rely on 
my letters for your amusement. Fare- 
well. 

LETTER VI. 
To Marcus Licinius Crassus. 

[A. U. 699.] 

I AM persuaded that all your friends 
have informed you of the zeal with which 
I lately both defended and promoted 
your dignities ; as indeed it was too 
warm and too conspicuous to have been 
passed over in silence. The opposition 
I met with from the consuls*, as well as 
from several others of consular rank, 
was the strongest I ever encountered : 
and you must now look upon me as your 
declared advocate upon all occasions 
where your glory is concerned. Thus 
have I abundantly compensated for the 
intermission of those good offices, which 
the friendship between us had long given 
you a right to claim, but which, by a 
variety of accidents, have lately been 
somewhat interrupted. There never was 
a time, believe me, when I wanted an 
inclination to cultivate your esteem^ or 
promote your interest ; though, it must 
be owned, a certain set of men, who are 
the bane of all amicable intercourse, and 
who envied us the mutual honour that 
resulted from ours, have upon some occa- 
sions been so unhappily successful as to 
create a coolness between us. It has 
happened, however (what I rather wished 
than expected), that I have found an op- 
portunity, even when your affairs were 

* The consuls of this year were L. Domitius 
Ahenobarbus, and Appiug Claudius Pulcher. 



in the most prosperous train, of giving a 
public testimony by my services to you, 
that I always most sincerely preserved 
the remembrance of our former amity. 
The truth is, I have approved myself 
your friend, not only to the full convic- 
tion of your family in particular, but of 
all Rome in general. In consequence of 
which, that most valuable of women, 
your excellent wife f, together with those 
illustrious models of virtue and filial 
piety, your two amiable sons, have per- 
petual recourse to my assistance and 
advice : and the whole world is sensible 
that no one is more zealously disposed 
to serve you than myself. 

Your family correspondents have in- 
formed you, I imagine, of what has hi- 
therto passed in your affair, as well as of 
what is at present in agitation. As for 
myself, I intreat you to do me the jus- 
tice to believe, that it was not any sud- 
den start of inclination, which disposed 
me to embrace this opportunity of vin- 
dicating your honour ; on the contrary, 
it was my ambition, from the first mo- 
ment I entered the Forum, to be ranked 
in the number of your friends X- I have 
the satisfaction to reflect, that I have 
never, from that time to this hour, failed 
in the highest sentiments of esteem for 
you ; and I doubt not, you have always 
retained the same affectionate regard to- 
wards me. If the effects of this mutual 
disposition have been interrupted by any 
little suspicions (for suspicions only I 
am sure they were), be the remembrance 
of them for ever blotted out of our hearts, 
I am persuaded, indeed, fi'om those vir- 
tues which form your character, and 
from those which I am desirous should 
distinguish onine, that our friendly union 
in the present conjuncture cannot but 
be attended with equal honour to us 
both. Wliat instances you may be vei- 
ling to give me of your esteem, must be 
left to your own determination : but 
they will be such, I flatter myself, as may 
tend most to advance my dignities. For 
my own part, I faithfully promise the 
utmost exertion of my best services in 
every article wherein I can contribute to 
increase yours. Many, I know, will be 

f This lady's name was TertuUa. 

J Crassus was almost ten years older than 
Ciceroj so that when the latter first appeared 
at the bar, the former had already established 
a character by his oratorical abilities. 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



my rivals in these amicable offices : but 
it is a contention in which all the world, 
I question not, and particularly your two 
sons, will acknowledge my superiority. 
Be assured, I love them both in a very 
uncommon degree, though I will own 
that Publius is my favourite. From his 
infancy, indeed, he discovered a singular 
regard to me ; as he particularly distin- 
guishes me at this time with all the 
marks even of filial respect and affection. 

Let me desire you to consider this let- 
ter, not as a strain of unmeaning com- 
pliment, but as a sacred and solemn co- 
venant of friendship, which I shall most 
sincerely and religiously observe. I shall 
now persevere in being the advocate of 
your honours, not only from a motive 
of affection, but from a principle of con- 
stancy : and without any application on 
your part, you may depend on my em- 
bracing every opportunity, wherein I 
shall think my services may prove agree- 
able to your interest or your inclinations. 
Can you once doubt, then, that any re- 
quest to me for this purpose, either by 
yourself or your family, will meet with a 
most punctual observance ? I hope, there- 
fore, you will not scruple to employ me 
in all your concerns, of what nature or 
importance soever, as one who is most 
faithfully your friend : and that you will 
direct your family to apply to me in all 
their affairs of every kind, whether re- 
lating to you or to themselves, to their 
friends or their dependents. And be as- 
sured, I shall spare no pains to render 
your absence as little uneasy to them as 
j^ossible. Farewell. 

LETTER Vn. 

To Julius Ccesar*. 

[A. U. 699.-\ 
I AM going to give an instance how 
much I rely upon your affectionate ser- 
vices, not only towards myseK, but in 
favour also of my friends. It was my 
intention, if I had gone abroad in any 
foreign employment, that Trebatiusf 

* Caesar was at this time in Gaul, preparing 
for his first expedition into Britain. 

f This person seems to have been in the 
number of Cjesar's particular favourites. He 
appears in this earlier part of his life to have 
been of a more gay and indolent disposition 
than is consistent with making a figure in bu- 
siness; but he afterwards, however, became a 



should have accompanied me: and he 
would not have returned without receiv- 
ing the highest and most advantageous 
honours I should have been able to have 
conferred upon him. But as Pompey, I 
find, defers setting out upon his com- 
mission longer than I imagined, and I 
am apprehensive likewise that the doubts 
you know I entertain in regard to my at- 
tending him, may possibly prevent, as 
they will certainly at least delay, my 
journey ; I take the liberty to refer Tre- 
batius to vour good offices, for those be- 
nefits he expected to have received from 
mine. I have ventured indeed to pro- 
mise, that he will find you full as well 
disposed to advance his interest, as I 
have always assured him he would find 
me ; and a very extraordinary circum- 
stance occurred, which seemed to confirm 
this opinion I entertained of your gene- 
rosity. For, in the very instant I was 
talking with Balbus upon this subject, 
your letter was delivered to me : in the 
close of which you pleasantly tell me, 
that " in compliance with my request, 
you will make Orfius king of Gaul, or 
assign him over to Lepta, and advance 
any other person whom I should be in- 
clined to recommend.'" This had so re- 
markable a coincidence with our discourse 
that it struck both Balbus and myself 
as a sort of happy omen that had some- 
thing in it more than accidental. As it 
was my intention, therefore, before I 
received your letter, to have transmitted 
Trebatius to you ; so I now consign him 
to your patronage as upon your own in- 
vitation. Receive him, then, my dear 
Csesar, with your usual generosity, and 
distinguish him with every honour that 
my solicitations can induce you to con- 
fer. I do not recommend him in the 
manner you so justly rallied, when I 
wrote to you in favour of Orfius : but I 
will take upon me to assure you, in true 
Roman sincerity, that there lives not a 
man of greater modesty and merit. I 
must not forget to mention also (what 
indeed is his distinguishing qualifica- 
tion), that he is eminently skilled in the 
laws of his country, and happy in an un- 
common strength of memory. I will not 
point out any particular piece of prefer- 
ment, which I wish you to bestow upon 



very celebrated lawyer ; and one of the most 
agreeable satires of Horace is addressed to 
him under that honourable character. 



10 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



him : I will only in general intreat you 
to admit him into a share of your friend- 
ship. Nevertheless, if you should think 
proper to distinguish him with the tri- 
bunate or prsefecture*, or any other little 
honours of that nature, I shall have no 
manner of objection. In good earnest, I 
entirely resign him out of my hands into 
yours, which never were lifted up in 
battle, or pledged in friendship, without 
effect. But I fear I have pressed you 
farther upon this occasion than was ne- 
cessary : however, I know you will ex- 
cuse my warmth in the cause of a friend. 
Take care of your health, and continue 
to love me. Farewell. 



LETTER Vin. 

To Trehatius. 

[A. U. 699.] 
I NEVER write to Csesar or Balbus with- 
out taking occasion to mention you 
in the advantageous terms you deserve ; 
and this in a style that evidently distin- 
guishes me for your sincere well-wisher. 
I hope therefore you will check this idle 
passion for the elegancies of Rome, and 
resolutely persevere in the purpose of 
your journey, till your merit and assi- 
duity shall have obtained the desired 
effect. In the mean time, your friends 
here will excuse your absence, no less 
than the ladies of Corinth did that of 
Medea in the playf, when she artfully 
persuades them not to impute it to her 
as a crime, that she had forsaken her 
country : for, as she tells them. 

There are who distant from their native soil. 
Still for their own and country's glory toil : 
While some, fast rooted to their parent spot, 
In life are useless, and in death forgot. 

In this last inglorious class you would 

* The military tribunes were next in rank to 
the lieutenants or commanders in chief under 
the general ; as the prtefectus legionis was the 
most honourable post in the Roman armies 
after that of the military tribunes. The busi- 
ness of the former was, among other articles, 
to decide all controversies that arose among 
the soldiers; and that of the latter was to 
carry the chief standard of the legion. 

f Medea, being enamoured of Jason, assisted 
him in obtaining.the golden fleece, and then fled 
with him from her father's court. He afterwards 
however deserted her for Creusa, the daughter 
of Creon king of Corinth, whom Medea de- 
stroyed by certain magical arts. Ennius, a 
Roman poet, who flourished about a century 
before the date of this letter, formed a play 
upon this story. 



most certainly have been numbered, had 
not your friends all conspired in forcing 
you from Rome. — But more of this an- 
other time : in the mean while let me 
advise you, who know so well how to 
manage securities for others, to secure 
yourself from the British charioteers if. 
And since I have heen playing the Medea, 
let me make my exit with the following 
lines of the same tragedy, which are well 
worth your constant remembrance : — 
His wisdom, sure, on folly's confines lies, 
Who, wise for others, for himself's unwise. 

Farewell. 



LETTER IX. 

To the same. 

[A. U. 099.] 
I TAKE all opportunities of writing in 
your favour ; and I should be glad you 
would let me know with what success. 
My chief reliance is on Balbus : in my 
letters to whom I frequently and warmly 
recommend your interest. But why do 
you not let me hear from you every time 
my brother dispatches a courier ? 

I am informed there is neither gold 
nor silver in all Britain §. If that should 
be the case, I would advise you to seize 
one of the enemy's military cars, and 
drive back to us with all expedition. But 
if you think you shall be able to make 
your fortune without the assistance of 
British spoils, by all means establish 
yourself in Ceesar's friendship. To be 
serious, both my brother and Balbus 
will be of great service to you for that 
purpose ; but, believe me, your own merit 
and assiduity will prove your best recom- 
mendation. You have every favourable 
circumstance indeed for your advance- 
ment that can be wished. On the one 
hand, you are in the prime and vigour of 

X The armies of the ancient Britons were 
partly composed of troops who fought in open 
chariots, to the axletrees of which were fixed 
a kind of short scythe. 

§ A notion had prevailed among the Romans 
that Britain abounded in gold and silver mines, 
and this report, it is probable, first suggested 
to Caesar the design of conquering Britain. It 
was soon discovered, however, that these sources 
of wealth existed only in their own imagina- 
tion ; and all their hopes of plunder ended in 
the little advantage they could make by the 
sale of their prisoners. Cicero, taking notice of 
this circumstance to Atticus, ridicules the po- 
verty and ignorance of our British ancestors. 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



11 



your years ; as on the other, you are serv- 
ing under a commander distinguished for 
the generosity of his disposition, and to 
whom you have been recommended in 
the strongest terms. In a word, there is 
not the least fear of your success, if your 
own concurrence be not wanting. Fare- 
well. 

LETTER X. 

To Trehatius, 

[A. U. 699.] 
I HAVE received a very obliging letter 
from Csesar, wherein he tells me, that 
though his numberless occupations have 
hitherto prevented him from seeing you 
so often as he wishes, he will certainly 
find an opportunity of being better ac- 
quainted with you. 1 have assured him, 
in return, how extremely acceptable his 
generous services to you would prove to 
myself. But surely you are much too 
precipitate in your determinations ; and 
I could not but wonder that you should 
have refused the advantages of a tribune's 
commission, especially as you might have 
been excused, it seems, from the func- 
tions of that post. If you continue to 
act thus indiscreetly, I shall certainly 
exhibit an information against you to 
your friends Vacerra and Manilius. I 
dare not venture, however, to lay the case 
before Cornelius : for, as you profess to 
have learned all your wisdom from his 
instructions ; to arraign the pupil of im- 
prudence, would be a tacit reflection, 
you know, upon the tutor. But in good 
earnest, I conjure you not to lose the 
fairest opportunity of making your for- 
tune, that probably will ever fall again 
in your way. 

I frequently recommend your interests 
to Precianus, whom you mention ; and he 
writes me word that he has done you some 
good offices. Let me know of what kind 
they are. I expect a letter upon your 
arrival in Britain. Farewell. 



LETTER XL 

To the same. 

[A. U. 699.] 
I HAVE made your acknowledgments 
to my brother, in pursuance of your re- 
quest ; and am glad to have an occasion 



of applauding you for being fixed at last 
in some settled resolution. The style 
of your former letters, I will own, gave 
me a good deal of uneasiness. And al- 
low me to say, that in some of them you 
discovered an impatience to return to the 
polite refinements of Rome, which had 
the appearance of much levity ; that in 
some I regretted your indolence, and in 
others your timidity. They frequently 
likewise gave me occasion to think, that 
you were not altogether so reasonable in 
your expectations, as is agreeable to your 
usual modesty. One would have ima- 
gined, indeed, you had carried a bill of 
exchange upon Cffisar, instead of a letter 
of recommendation : for you seemed to 
think you had nothing more to do than 
to receive your money and hasten home 
again. But money, my friend, is not so 
easily acquired ; and I could name some 
of our acquaintance who have been 
obliged to travel as far as Alexandria in 
pursuit of it, without having yet been 
able to obtain even their just demands*. 
If my inclinations were governed solely 
by my interest, I should certainly choose 
to have you here ; as nothing affords me 
more pleasure than your company, or 
more advantage than your advice and 
assistance. But as you sought my friend- 
ship and patronage from your earliest 
youth, I always thought it incumbent 
upon me to act with a disinterested view 
to your welfare; and not only to give 
you my protection, but to advance, by 
every means in my power, both your 
fortunes and your dignities. In conse- 
quence of which, I dare say you have not 
forgotten those unsolicited offers I made 
you, when I had thoughts of being em- 
ployed abroad. I no sooner gave up my 
intentions of this kind, and perceived 
that Csesar treated me with great distinc- 
tion and friendship, than I recommended 
you in the strongest and warmest terms 
to his favour ; perfectly well knowing 
the singular probity and benevolence of 
his heart. Accordingly he shewed, not 
only by his letters to me, but by his 
conduct towards you, the great regard 
he paid to my recommendation. If you 
have any opinion, therefore, of my judg- 
ment, or imagine that I sincerely wish 
you well, let me persuade you to con- 



* Alluding to those who supplied Ptolemy 
with money when he was soliciting his affairs 
in Rome. 



12 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I, 



tinue with him. And notwithstanding 
you should meet with some things to 
disgust you, as business, perhaps, or 
other obstructions, may render him less 
expeditious in gratifying your views than 
you had reason to expect, still, however, 
persevere ; and trust me, you will find it 
prove in the end both for your interest 
and your honour. To exhort you any 
farther might look like impertinence : 
let me only remind you, that if you lose 
this opportunity of improving your for- 
tune, you will never meet again with so 
generous a patron, so rich a province, or 
so convenient a season for this purpose. 
And (to express myself in the style of 
your lawyers) Cornelius has given his 
opinion to the same effect. 

I am glad for my sake, as well as 
yours, that you did not attend Csesar 
into Britain; as it has not only saved 
you the fatigue of a very disagreeable 
expedition, but me likewise that of be- 
ing the perpetual auditor of your won- 
derful exploits. Let me know in what 
part of the world you are likely to take 
up your winter quarters, and in what 
post you are, or expect to be, employed. 
Farewell. 

LETTER XIL 

To the same. 

[A. U. 699.] 
It is a considerable time since I have 
heard any thing from you. As for 
myself, if I have not written these three 
months, it was because, after you were 
separated from my brother, I neither 
knew where to address my letters, nor 
by what hand to convey them. I much 
wish to be informed how your affairs go 
on, and in what part of the world your 
winter quarters are likely to be fixed. I 
should be glad they might be with Cae- 
sar ; but, as I would not venture in his 
present affliction* to trouble him with a 

* Caesar about this time lost his daughter 
Julia, who died in childbed. She was married 
to Pompey, who was so passionately fond of 
her, that she seems, during the short time they 
lived together, to have taken entire possession 
of his whole heart, and to have turned all his 
ambition into the single desire of appearing 
amiable in her eye. The death of this young 
lady proved a public calamity, as it dissolved 
the only forcible bond of union between her 
father and her husband, and hastened that 
rupture, which ended in the destruction of the 
commonwealth. 



letter I have written upon that subject 
to Balbus. In the mean while, let me 
intreat you not to be wanting to yourself: 
and for my own part, I am contented to 
give up so much more of your company, 
provided the longer you stay abroad the 
richer you should return. There is no- 
thing, I think, particularly to hasten 
you home, now that Vacerra is dead. 
However, you are the best judge : and I 
should be glad to know what you have 
determined. 

There is a queer fellow of your ac- 
quaintance, one Octavius or Cornelius 
(I do not perfectly recollect his name), 
who is perpetually inviting me, as a 
friend of yours, to sup with him. He 
has not yet prevailed with me to accept 
his compliment : however, I am obliged 
to the man. Farewell. 



LETTER XIII. 



To the same. 

[A. U. 699.J 
I PERCEIVE by your letter, that my 
friend Csesar looks upon you as a most 
wonderful lawyer : and are you not hap- 
py in being thus placed in a country 
where you make so considerable a figure 
upon so small a stock? But with how 
much greater advantage would your no- 
ble talents have appeared had you gone 
into Britain ? Undoubtedly there would 
not have been so profound a sage in 
the law throughout all that extensive 
island. 

Since your epistle has provoked me to 
be thus jocose, I will proceed in the 
same strain, and tell you there was one 
part of it I could not read without some 
envy. And how indeed could it be 
otherwise, when I found, that, Avhilst 
much greater men were in vain at- 
tempting to get admittance to Csesar, 
you were singled out from the crowd, 
and even summoned to an audience t ? 
But after giving me an account of af- 
fairs which concern others, why were 
you silent as to your own ; assured as 
you are that I interest myself in them 

f Trebatius, it is probable, had informed 
Cicero, in the letter to which this is an answer, 
that he had been summoned by Csesar to attend 
him as his assessor upon some trial ^ which 
seems to have led this author into the rail- 
leries of this and the preceding passages. 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



1,1 



with as muck zeal as if they immediately 
related to myself? Accordingly, as I 
am extremely afraid you will have no 
employment to keep you warm in your 
winter quarters, I would by all means 
advise you to lay in a sufficient quan- 
tity of fuel. Botli Mucins and Ma- 
nilius * have given their opinions to the 
same purpose ; especially as your regi- 
mentals, they apprehend, will scarce be 
ready soon enough to secure you against 
the approaching cold. We hear, how- 
ever, that there has been hcd work in 
your part of the world ; which somewhat 
alarmed me for your safety. But I com- 
forted myself with considering, that you 
are not altogether so desperate a soldier 
as you are a lawyer. It is a wonderful 
consolation indeed to your friends, to be 
assured that your passions are not an 
overmatch for your prudence. Thus, as 
much as I know you love the water f, 
you would not venture, I find, to cross it 
with Ceesar : and though nothing could 
keep you from the combats X in Rome, 
you were much too wise, I perceive, to 
attend them in Britain. 

But pleasantry apart : you know with- 
out my telling you, with what zeal I 
have recommended you to Ceesar ; though 
perhaps you may not be apprised, that I 
have frequently, as well as warmly, writ- 
ten to him upon that subject. I had for 
some time indeed, intermitted my solici- 
tations, as I would not seem to distrust 
his friendship and generosity : however, 
I thought proper in my last to remind 
him once more of his promise. I desire 
you would let me know what effect my 
letter has produced : and at the same 
time give me a full account of every 
thing that concerns you. For I am ex- 
ceedingly anxious to be informed of the 



^^ Mucius and Manilius, i': must be sup- 
posed, were two lawyers and particular friends 
of Trebatius. 

f The art of swimming was among the num- 
ber of polite exercises in ancient Rome, and 
esteemed a necessary qualification for every 
gentleman. It was indeed one of the essential 
arts in military discipline, as both the soldiers 
and officers had frequently no other means of 
pursuing or retreating from the enemy. Ac- 
cordingly, the Campus Martins, a place where 
the Roman youth were taught the science of 
arms, was situated on the banks of the Tiber; 
and they constantly finished their exercises 
of this kind, by throwing themselves into the 
river. 

X Alluding to his fondness of the gladiato- 
rial games. 



prospect and situation of your affairs ; 
as well as how long you imagine your 
absence is likely to continue. Be per- 
suaded, that nothing could reconcile me 
to this separation, but the hopes of its 
proving to your advantage. In any 
other view I should not be so impolitic 
as not to insist on your return : as you 
would be too prudent, I dare say, to de- 
lay it. The truth is, one hour's gay or 
serious conversation together, is of more 
importance to us, than all the foes and 
all the friends that the whole nation of 
Gaul can produce. I intreat you, there- 
fore, to send me an immediate account 
in what posture your affairs stand : and 
be assured, as honest Chremes says to 
his neighbour in the play §, 

Whatever cares thy lab'ring bosom grieve, 
My tongue shall smooth them, or my hand 
relieve. 

Farewell. 

LETTER XIV. 

To ^liinfus Philippus, Proconsul. 

[A. U. 699.] 
I CONGRATULATE your safc return from 
your province in the fulness of your 
fame, and amidst the general tranquillity 
of the republic. If I were in Rome, I 
should have waited upon you for this 
purpose in person, and in order like- 
wise to make my acknowledgments to 
you for your favours to my friends Eg- 
natius and Oppius. 

I am extremely sorry to hear that you 
have taken great offence against my 
friend and host Antipater. I cannot pre- 
tend to judge of the merits of the case : 
but I know your character too well not 
to be persuaded, that you are incapable 
of indulging an unreasonable resent- 
ment. I conjure you, however, by our 
long friendship, to pardon for my sake 
his sons, who lie entirely at your mercy. 
If I imagined you could not grant this 
favour consistently with your honour, I 
should be far from making the request : 
as my regard for your reputation is 
much superior to all considerations of 
friendship which I owe to this family. 
But if I am not mistaken (and indeed I 
very possibly may), your clemency to- 
wards them will rather add to your 
character, than derogate from it. If it 
be not too much trouble, therefore, I 

In Terence's play called Thr Self-tormenlor. 



14 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



should be glad you would let me know 
how far a compliance with my request 
is in your power : for that it is in your 
inclination, I have not the least reason 
to doubt. Farewell. 

LETTER XV. 

To Lucius Valerius^, the Lawyer. 

[A. U. 699.} 
FoRf why should I not gratify your 
vanity with that honourable appellation ? 
Since, as the times go, my friend, con- 
fidence will readily pass upon the world 
for skill. 

I have executed the commission you 
sent me, and made your acknowledg- 
ments to Lentulus. But I wish you 
would render my offices of this kind un- 
necessary, by putting an end to your te- 
dious absence. Is it not more worthy of 
your mighty ambition to be blended with 
your learned brethren at Rome, than to 
stand the sole great wonder of wisdom 
amidst a parcel of paltry Provincials? 
But I long to rally you in person : for 
which merry purpose I desire you would 
hasten hither as expeditiously as possi- 
ble. I would by no means, however, ad- 
vise you to take Apulia in the way, lest 
some disastrous adventure in those un- 
lucky regions should prevent our wel- 
coming your safe arrival. And in truth, 
to what purpose should you visit this 
your native province^ ? For, like Ulysses 
when he first returned to his Ithaca, 
you will be much too prudent, un- 
doubtedly, to lay claim to your noble 
kindred. Farewell. 

LETTER XVI. 

To Trehatius. 

[A. U. 700.] 
I WAS wondering at the long intermission 

* Valerius is only known by this letter and 
another, wherein Cicero recommends him to 
Appius, as a person who lived in his family, and 
for whom he entertained a very singular affec- 
tion. He seems to have been one of that sort 
of lawyers who may more properly be said to 
be of the profession than the science. 

f The abrupt beginning of this letter has in- 
duced some of the commentators to suspect 
that it is not entire. But Manutius has very 
justly observed, that it evidently refers to the 
inscription : and he produces an instance of the 
same kind from one of the epistles to Atticus. 

X Manutius imagines that Cicero means to 
rally the obscurity of his friend's birth. 



of your letters, when my friend Pansa 
accounted for your indolence, by as- 
suring me that you were turned an 
Epicurean. Glorious effect indeed of 
camp conversation ! But if a meta- 
morphosis so extraordinary has been 
wrought in you amidst the martial air 
of Samarobriva, what would have been 
the consequence had I sent you to the 
softer regions of Tarentum§? I have 
been in some pain for your principles, 
I confess, ever since youf intimacy 
with my friend Seius. But how will 
you reconcile your tenets to your pro- 
fession, and act for the interest of your 
client, now that you have adopted the 
maxim of doing nothing but for your 
own ? With what grace can you insert 
the usual clause in your deeds of agree- 
ment : The parties to these presents, as 
becomes good men and true, 8cc. ? For 
neither truth nor trust can there be in 
those who professedly govern them- 
selves upon motives of absolute selfish- 
ness. I am in some pain, likewise, 
how you will settle the law concerning 
the partition of " rights in common;" 
as there can be nothing in commoji 
between those who make their own pri- 
vate gratification the sole criterion of 
right and wrong. Or can you think it 
proper to administer an oath, while 
you maintain that Jupiter is incapable 
of all resentment? In a word, what 
will become of the good people of 
Ulubrasjl, who have placed themselves 
under your protection, if you hold the 
maxim of your sect, that " a wise man 
ought not to engage himself in public 
affairs?" In good earnest, I shall be 
extremely sorry, if it is true, that you 
have really deserted us. But if your 
conversation is nothing more than a 
convenient compliment to the opinions 
of Pansa, I will forgive your dissimula- 
tion, provided you let me know soon 
how your affairs go on, and in what 
manner I can be of any service in them. 
Farewell. 



§ Tarentum was a city in Italy, distin- 
guished for the softness and luxury of its in- 
habitants. 

II Cicero jocosely speaks of this people, 
as if they belonged to the most considerable 
town in Italy; whereas it was so mean and 
contemptible a place, that Horace, in order 
to show the power of contentment, says, 
that a person possessed of that excellent 
temper of mind, may be happy even at 
UlubrEB. 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



15 



LETTER XVII. 

To Cuius Curio. 

[A. U. 700.] 
Our friendship, I trust, needs not any 
other evidence to confirm its sincerity, 
than what arises from the testimony of 
our own hearts. I cannot, however, but 
consider the death of your illustrious 
father as depriving me of a most vene- 
rable witness to that singular affection 
I bear you. I regret that he had not 
the satisfaction of taking a last farewell 
of you, before he closed his eyes : it was 
the only circumstance wanting to render 
him as much superior to the rest of the 
world in his domestic happiness, as in 
his public fame*. 

I sincerely wish you the happy enjoy- 
ment of your estate : and be assured, 
you will find in me a friend who loves 
and values you with the same tenderness 
as your father himself conceived for you. 
Farewell. 

LETTER XVIII. 

To Trebatius. 

March the 24th. [A. U. 700.] 
Can you seriously suppose me so un- 
reasonable as to be angry, because I 
thought you discovered too inconstant a 
disposition in your impatience to leave 
Gaul } And can you possibly believe it 
was for that reason I have thus long 
omitted writing? The truth is, I was 
only concerned at the uneasiness which 
seemed to have overcast your mind : and 
I forbore to write, upon no other account 
but as being entirely ignorant where to 
direct my letters, i suppose, however, 
that this, is a plea which your loftiness 
will scarce condescend to admit. But tell 
me then, is it the weight of your purse, 
or the honour of being the counsellor of 
Caesar, that most disposes you to be thus 
insufferably arrogant ? Let me perish if 
I do not believe that thy vanity is so im- 

* He was consul in the year of Rome 676, 
when he acted with great spirit in opposition 
to the attempts of Sicinius for restoring the 
tribunitial power, which had been much 
abridged by Sylia. In the following j-^ear he 
went governor into Macedonia, and by his 
military conduct in that province obtained 
the honour of a triumph. He distinguished 
himself among the friends of Cicero when he 
was attacked by Clodius. 



moderate as to choose rather to share in 
his council than his coffers. But should 
he admit you into a participation of both, 
you will undoubtedly swell into such in- 
tolerable airs, that no mortal will be able 
to endure you : or none at least except 
myself, who am philosopher enough, you 
knowj to endure any thing. But I was 
going to tell you, that as I regretted the 
uneasiness you formerly expressed; so 
I rejoice to hear, that you are better 
reconciled to your situation. My only 
fear is, that your wonderful skill in the 
law will little avail you in your present 
quarters : for I am told that the people 
you have to deal with, 

Rest the strength of their cause on the force 

of their might. 
And the sword is supreme arbitrator of rightf , 

As I know you do not choose to be con- 
cerned in forcible entries, and are much 
too peaceably disposed to be fond of 
making assaults, let me leave a piece of 
advice with my lawyer, and by all means 
recommend it to you to avoid the Tre- 
viri X ; for I hear they are most formi- 
dable fellows. I wish from my heart 
they were as harmless as their name- 
sakes round the edges of our coin§. 
But I must reserve the rest of my jokes 
to another opportunity : in the mean 
time, let me desire you would send me 
a full account of whatever is going for- 
ward in your province. Farewell. 

LETTER XIX. 

To Cuius Curio. 

[A. U. 700.] 
You must not impute it to any neglect 
in Rupa, that he has not executed your 
commission ; as he omitted it merely in 
compliance with the opinion of myself 
and the rest of your friends. We thought 
it most prudent that no steps should be 
taken during your absence, which might 
preclude you from a change of measures 
after your return : and therefore, that it 

f Ennius. 

X The Treviri were a most warlike people 
bordering on Germany. They were defeated 
about this time by Labienus, one of Caesar's 
lieutenants in Gaul. 

§ The public coin was under the inspection 
of three officers called Treviri monetales: and 
several pieces of money are still extant in the 
cabinets of the curious, inscribed with the 
names of these magistrates. 



16 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



would be best he should not signify your 
intentions of entertaining the people with 
public games. I may perhaps in some 
future letter give you my reasons at large 
against your executing that design : or 
rather, that you may not come prepared 
to answer my objections, I believe it wDl 
be the wisest way to reserve them till we 
meet. If I should not bring you over to 
my sentiments, I shall have the satisfac- 
tion, at least, of discharging the part of 
a friend : and should it happen (which 
I hope, however, it will not) that you 
should hereafter have occasion to repent 
of your scheme ; you may then remem- 
ber, that I endeavoured to dissuade you 
from it. But this much I will now say, 
that those advantages which fortune, in 
conjunction with your own industry and 
natural endowments, have put into your 
possession, supply a far surer method of 
opening your way to the highest dig- 
nities, than any ostentatious display of 
the most splendid spectacles. The truth 
of it is, exhibitions of ^-his kind, as they 
are instances of wealth only, not of 
merit, are by no means considered as 
reflecting any honour on the authors of 
them : not to mention, that the public 
is quite satiated with their frequent re- 
turns. But I am fallen unawares into 
what I designed to have avoided, and 
pointing out my particular reasons 
against your scheme. I will wave all 
farther discussion, therefore, of this 
matter till we meet; and in the mean 
time inform you, that the world en- 
tertains the highest opinion of your 
virtues. Whatever advantages may be 
hoped from the most exalted patriotism 
united with the greatest abilities, the 
public, believe me, expects from you. 
And should you come prepared (as I am 
sure you ought, and I trust you will) to 
act up to these its glorious expectations ; 
then, indeed, you will exhibit to your 
ifriends, and to the commonwealth in 
general, a spectacle of the noblest and 
most affecting kind*. In the mean 
while be assured, no man has a greater 



* Curio was not of a disposition to listen to 
this prudent counsel of his friend : but, in op- 
position to all the grave advice of Cicero, he 
persevered in his resolution, and executed it 
with great magnificence. The consequence 
was just what Cicero foresaw and dreaded : he 
contracted debts which he was incapable of 
discharging, and then sold himself to Caesar in 
order to satisfj' the clamours of his creditors. 



share of my affection and esteem than 
yourself. Farewell. 

LETTER XX. 

To Trebatius, 

April the 8th. [A. U. 700.] 
Two or three of your letters which 
lately came to my hands at the same 
time, though of different dates, have af- 
forded me great pleasure : as they were 
proofs that you have reconciled yourself, 
with much spirit and resolution, to the 
inconveniences of a military life. I had 
some little suspicion, I confess, of the 
contrary : not that I questioned your 
courage, but as imputing your uneasi- 
ness to the regret of our separation. 
Let me intreat you then to persevere in 
your present temper of mind : and be- 
lieve me, you will derive many and con- 
siderable advantages from the service in 
which you are engaged. In the mean 
while, I shall not fail to renew my so- 
licitations to Csesar in your favour upon 
all proper occasions ; and have herewith 
sent you a Greek letter to deliver to him 
for that purpose : for, in truth, you can- 
not be more anxious than I am that this 
expedition may prove to your benefit. 
In return, 1 desire you would send me a 
full relation of the Gallic war ; for you 
must know, 1 always depend most upon 
the accounts of those who are least en- 
gaged in the action. 

As I do not imagine you are altogether 
so considerable a person as to retain a 
secretary in your service, I could not but 
wonder you should trouble yourself with 
the precaution of sending me several co- 
pies of the same letter. Your parsimony, 
however, deserves to be applauded ; as 
one of them, I observed, was written 
upon a tablet that had been used before. 
I cannot conceive what unhappy com- 
position could be so very miserable as to 
deserve to give place upon this occasion : 
unless it were one of your own convey- 
ances. I flatter myself, at least, it was 
not any sprightly epistle of mine that you 
thus disgraced, in order to scribble over 
it a dull one of your own. Or was it 
your intention to intimate affairs go so 
ill with you, that you could not afford 
any better materials? If that should be 
your case, you must even thank yourself 
for hot leaving your modesty behind you. 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



I shall recommend you in very strong 
terms to Balbiis, when he returns into 
Oaul. But you must not be surprised if 
you should not hear from me again so 
soon as usual ; as I shall be absent from 
Rome during- all this month. I write 
this from Pomptinus, at the villa of Me- 
trilius Philemon, where I am placed 
within hearing- of those croaking- clients 
whom you recommended to my protec- 
tion : for a prodigious number, it seems, 
of your Ulubrean frogs * are assembled, 
in order to compliment my arrival among 
them. Farewell. 

P. S. I have destroyed the letter I re- 
ceived from you by the hands of Lucius 
Aruntius, though it was much too inno- 
cent to deserve so severe a treatment ; 
for it contained nothing that might not 
have been proclaimed before a general 
assembly of the people. However, it 
was your express desire I should destroy 
it ; and I have complied accordingly. I 
will only add, that I w onder much at not 
having heard from you since ; especially 
as so many extraordinary events have 
lately happened in vo-ar province. 

LETTER XXL 

To Cuius Curio. 

[A. U. 700.] 
Public affairs are so circumstanced, 
that I dare not communicate my senti- 
ments of them in a letter. This, how- 
ever, I will venture in general to say, 
that I have reason to congratulate you 
on your removal from the scene in which 
w^e are engaged. But I must add, that in 
whatever part of the world you might be 
placed, you would still (as I told you in 
my last) be embarked in the same com- 
mon bottom with your friends here. I 
have another reason likewise for rejoicing 
in your absence, as it has placed your 
merit in full view of so considerable a 
number of the most illustrious citizens, 
and allies of Rome : and indeed the re- 
putation you have acquired is universally, 
and without the least exception, con- 
firmed to us on all hands. But there is 
one circumstance attending you, upon 
which I know not whether I ought to 

* Cicero ludicrously gives the inhabitants 
of Ulubrae this appellation, in allusion to the 
low and marshy situation of their town. 



send you my congratulations or not : I 
mean with respect to those high and sin- 
gular advantages which the common- 
w^ealth promises itself from your return 
amongst us. Not that I suspect your 
proving unequal to the opinion which 
the world entertains of your virtues ; 
but as fearing that whatever is most 
worthy of your care will be irrecoverably 
lost ere your arrival to prevent it : such, 
alas ! is the v/eak and well-nigh expiring 
condition of your unhappy republic ! 
But prudence, perhaps, wall scarce jus- 
tify me in trusting even this to a letter : 
for the rest, therefore, I must refer you 
to others. In the mean w^hile, whatever 
your fears or your hopes of public affairs 
may be ; think, my friend, incessantly 
think on those virtues which that ge- 
nerous patriot must possess, who in these 
evil times, and amidst such a general 
depravation of manners, gloriously pro- 
poses to vindicate the ancient dignity 
and liberties of his oppressed country. 
Farewell. 



LETTER XXII. 

To Trehatius. 

[A. U. 700.] 
If it were not for the compliments you 
sent me by Chrysippus the freeman of 
Cyrus the architect, 1 should have ima- 
gined I no longer possessed a place in 
your thoughts. But surely you are be- 
come a most intolerable fine gentleman, 
that you could not bear the fatigue of 
writing to me ; when you had the op- 
portunity of doing so by a man Avhom, 
you know, I look upon as one almost of 
my owTi family. Perhaps, however, you 
may have forgotten the use of your pen, 
and so much the better, let me tell you, 
for your clients ; as they will lose no 
more causes by its blunders. But if it is 
myself only that has escaped your re- 
membrance ; I must endeavour to refresh 
it by a visit, before I am w^orn out of 
your mind beyond all power of recollec- 
tion. After all, is it not the apprehen- 
sions of the next summer's campaign, 
that has rendered your hand too unsteady 
to perform its ofiice ? If so you must e'en 
play over again the same gallant strata- 
gem you practised last year in relation to 
your Britisli expedition, and frame some 
heroic excuse for your absence, How^ 

*c 



(«^ 



18 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I, 



ever, I was extremely glad to hear by 
Chrysippus, that you are much in Cse- 
sar's good graces. But it would be more 
like a man of equity, methinks, as well as 
more agreeable to my inclinations, if you 
were to give me frequent notice of what 
concerns you, by your own hand : a sa- 
tisfaction I should undoubtedly enjoy, if 
you had chosen to study the lazvs of good 
fellowship, rather than those of conten- 
tion. You see I rally you, as usual, in 
your own way, not to say a little in mine. 
But to end seriously ; be assured, as I 
greatly love you, I am no less confident 
than desirous of your affection in return. 
Farewell. 

LETTER XXin. 

To Titus Fadius. 

[A. U. TOO.] 

I KNOW not any event which has lately 
happened, that more sensibly affects me 
than your disgrace. Far therefore from 
being capable of giving you the con- 
solation I wish, I greatly stand in need 
of the same good office myself. Never- 
theless, I cannot forbear, not only to 
exhort, but to conjure you likewise by 
our friendship, to collect your whole 
strength of reason, in order to oppose 
your affliction with a firm and manly 
fortitude. Remember, my friend, that 
calamities are incident to all mankind, 
but particui'arly to us who live in these 
miserable and distracted times. Let it 
be your consolation, however, to reflect, 
that you have lost far less by fortune 
than you have acquired by merit : as 
there are few, under the circumstances 
of your birth, who ever raised themselves 
to the same dignities ; though there are 
numbers of the highest quality who have 
sunk into the same disgrace. To say 
truth ; so wretched is the fate which 
threatens our laws, our liberties, and our 
constitution in general, that well may he 
esteem himself happily dealt with, who 
is dismissed from such a distempered go- 
vernment upon the least injurious terms. 
As to your own case in particular, when 
you reflect that you are still undeprived 
of your estate ; that you are happy in 
the affections of your children, your fa- 
mily, and your friends ; and that in all 
probability you are only separated from 
them for a short interval : when you re- 



flect, that among the gTeat number of 
impeachments which have lately been 
carried on, yours is the only one that 
was considered as entirely groundless ; 
that you were condemned by a majority 
only of one single vote, and that too uni- 
versally supposed to have been given in 
compliance with some powerful influ- 
ence — these, undoubtedly, are con- 
siderations which ought greatly to alle- 
viate the weight of your misfortune. I 
will only add, that you may always de- 
pend upon finding in me that disposition 
both towards yourself and your family, 
which is agreeable to your wishes, as 
well as to what you have a right to ex- 
pect. Farewell. 

LETTER XXIV. 

To Marcus Calius. 

July the 6th. [A. U. 702.] 

Could you seriously then imagine, my 
friend, that I commissioned yon to send 
me the idle news of the town ; matches 
of gladiators, adjournments of causes, 
robberies, and the ^est of those unin- 
teresting occurrences, which no one 
ventures to mention to me, even when 1 
am in the midst of them at Rome ? Far 
other are the accounts which I expect 
from your hand : as I know not any man 
whose judgment in politics I have more 
reason to value. I should esteem it a 
misemployment of your talents, even 
were you to transmit to me those more 
important transactions that daily arise in 
the republic ; unless they should happen 
to relate immediately to myself. There 
are other less penetrating politicians, 
who will send me intelligence of this 
sort : and I shall be abundandtly supplied 
with it likewise by common fame. In 
short, it is not an account either of what 
has lately been transacted, or is in present 
agitation, that 1 require in your letters : 
I expect, as from one whose discernment 
is capable of looking far into futurity, 
your opinion of what is likely to happen. 
Thus, by seeing a plan, as it were, of the 
republic, I shall be enabled to judge what 
kind of structure will probably arise. 
Hitherto, however, I have no reason to 
charge you with having been negligent 
in communicating to me your prophetic 
conjectures. For the events which have 
lately happened in the commonwealth, 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



19 



were much beyond any man's penetra- 
tion : I am sure at least tliey were beyond 
mine. 

I passed several days with Pompey, in 
conversation upon public affairs : but it 
is neither prudent, nor possible, to give 
you the particulars in a letter. In gene- 
ral, however, I will assure you, that he 
is animated with the most patriotic sen- 
timents, and is prudently prepared, as 
well as resolutely determined, to act as 
the interest of the republic shall require. 
I would advise you therefore wnolly to 
attach yourself to him : and believe me, 
he will rejoice to embrace you as his 
friend. He now indeed entertains the 
same opinion both with you and myself, 
of the good and ill intendons of the dif- 
ferent parties in the republic. 

I have spent the last ten days at 
Athens ; from whence I am this moment 
setting out. During my continuance in 
this city, I have frequently enjoyed the 
company of our friend Gallus C animus. 

I recommend all my affairs to your 
care and protection, but particularly 
(what indeed is my principal concern) 
that my residence in the province may 
not be prolonged. I will not prescribe 
the methods you should employ for that 
purpose ; as you are the most competent 
judge by what means, and by whose 
intervention, it may be best effected. 
Farewell. 

LETTER XXV. 

To Terentia and Tullia. 
Athens, October the 18th. [A. U. 703.] 
The amiable young Cicero and myself 
are perfectly well, if you and my dearest 
Tully are so. We arrived here^ on the 
14th of this month, after a very tedious 
and disagreeable passage, occasioned 
by contrary winds. Acastusf met me 
upon my landing, with letters fi-om 
Rome ; having been so expeditious as to 
perform his journey in one-and-twenty 
days. In the packet which he delivered 
to me, I found yours, wherein you ex- 
press some uneasiness lest your former 
letters should not have reached my hands. 
They have, my Terentia : and I am ex- 
tremely obliged to you for the very full 
accounts you gave me of every thing I 
was concerned to know. 

* Athens. 

-f- A freed-man belonging to Cicero. 



I am by no means surprised at tlie 
shortness of your last, as you had reason 
to expect us so soon. It is with great 
impadence I wish for that meeting : 
though I am sensible, at the same time, 
of the unhappy situ a ion in which I shall 
find the republic. All the letters, in- 
deed, which I received by Acastus, agree 
in assuring me, that there is a general 
tendency »,o a civil war : so that when I 
come to Rome I shall be under a neces- 
sity of declaring myself on one side or 
the other. However, since there is no 
avoiding the scene which fortune has pre- 
pared for me, I shall be the more expe- 
ditious in my journey, that I may the 
better deliberate on the several circum- 
stances which must determine my choice. 
Let me intreat you to meet me as far on 
my way as your health wiU permit. 

The legacy, which Precius has left me, 
is an acquisition that I receive with great 
concern, as I tenderly loved him, and 
extremely lament his death. If his estate 
should be put up to auction before my 
arrival, I beg you would recommend my 
interest in it to the care of Atticus : or 
in case his affairs should not aUow him 
to undertake the office, that you would 
request the same favour of Camillus. 
And if this should not find you at Rome, 
I desire you would send proper direc- 
tions thither for that purpose. As for 
my other affairs, I hope I shall be able 
to settle them myself: for I purpose to 
be in Italy, if the gods favom* my voy- 
age, about the 13th of November. In 
the mean time I conjure you, my amiable 
and excellent Terentia, and thou my 
dearest Tullia, I conjure you both by all 
the tender regards you bear me, to take 
care of your healths. Farewell. 



LETTER XXVI. 

To Tirol. 

November the 3d. [A. U. 703.] 
I DID not imagine I should have been 
so little able to support your absence : 

X He was a favourite slave of Cicero, who 
trained him up in his family, and formed him 
under his own immediate tuition. The pro- 
bity of his manners, the elegance of his genius, 
and his uncommon erudition, recommended 
him to his master's peculiar esteem and affec- 
tion. 

C 2 



20 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



but, indeed, it is more than 1 can well 
bear. Accordingly, notwithstanding it is 
of the last importance to my interest* 
that I should hasten to Rome, yet I can- 
not but severely reproach myself for 
having thus deserted you. However, as 
you seemed altogether averse from pur- 
suing your voyage till you sliould re- 
establish your health, I approve of your 
scheme ; and I still approve of it, if you 
continue in the same sentiments. Ne- 
vertheless, if, after having taken some 
refreshment, you should think yourself 
in a condition to follow me ; you may 
do so, or not, as you shall judge proper. 
If you should determine in the affirma- 
tive, I have sent Mario to attend you : 
if not, I have ordered him to return 
immediately. Be well assured, there is 
nothing I more ardently desire than to 
have you with me, provided I may enjoy 
that pleasure without prejudice to your- 
self. But be assured too, that if your 
continuing somewhat longer at Patr8e| 
should be thought necessary, I prefer 
your health to all other considerations. 
If you should embark immediately, you 
may overtake me at LeucasJ. But if 
you are more inclined to defer your 
voyage till your recovery shall be better 
confirmed, let me intreat you to be very 
careful in choosing a safe ship ; and that 
you would neither sail at an improper 
season, nor without a convoy. I par- 
ticularly charge you also, my dear Tiro, 
by all the regard you bear me, not to 
suffer the arrival of Mario, or any thing 
that I have said in this letter, in the 
least to influence your resolution. Be- 
lieve me, whatever will be most agree- 
able to your health, will be most agree- 
able likewise to my inclinations : and, 
therefore, I desire you would be wholly 
governed by your own prudence. 'Tis 
true, I am extremely desirous of your 

* As Cicero was full of the hopes of obtain- 
ing a triumph, he was desirous of hastening 
to Rome before the dissensions between CjEsar 
and Pompey should be arrived at so great a 
height as to render it impossible for him to 
enjoy that honour. 

f A city in Peloponnesus, which still sub- 
sists under the name of Patras. Cicero had 
left Tiro indisposed in this place, the day be- 
fore the date of the present letter. 

X A little Grecian island in the Ionian sea, 
now called Saint Maure. It was on this island 
that the celebrated promontory stood, from 
whence the tender Sappho is said to have 
/thrown herself in a fit of amorous despair. 



company, and of enjoying it as early as 
possible : but the same affection, which 
makes me wish to see you soon, makes 
me wish to see you well. Let your 
health, therefore, be your first and prin- 
cipal care ; assuring yourself, that among 
all the numberless good offices I have re- 
ceived at your hands, I shall esteem this 
by far the most acceptable. 



LETTER XXVII. 

To the same. 

Lencas, Nov. the Tth. [A. U. 703 )■ 
Your letter produced very different ef- 
fects on my mind ; as the latter part 
somewhat alleviated the concern which 
the former had occasioned. I am now 
convinced tliat it will not be safe for 
you to proceed on your voyage, till your 
health shall be entirely re-established : 
and I shall see you soon enough, if I 
see you perfectly recovered. 

I find by your letter that you have a 
good opinion of your physician : and I 
am told he deserves it. However, I can 
by no means approve of the regimen he 
prescribed: for broths cannot certainly 
be suitable to so weak a stomach. I 
have written to him very fully concern- 
ing you ; as also to Lyso. I have done 
the same likewise to my very obliging 
friend Curius : and have particularly re- 
quested him, if it should be agreeable to 
yourself, that he would remove you into 
his house. I am apprehensive, indeed, 
that Lyso will not give you proper at- 
tendance : in the first place, because 
carelessness is the general characteristic 
of all his countrymen § ; and in the next, 
because he has returned no answer to my 
letter. Nevertheless, as you mention 
him with esteem, I leave it to you to 
continue with him, or not, just as you 
shall think proper. Let me only enjoin 
you, my dear Tiro, not to spare any 
expence that may be necessary towards 
your recovery. To this end, I have 
desired Curius to supply you with what- 
ever money you shall require : and I 
think it would be proper, in order to 
render your physician the more careftd 
in his attendance, to make him some 
present. 

Numberless are the services I have 

§ The Grecians. 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



21 



received from you, both at home and 
abroad ; in my public and my private 
transactions ; in the course of my studies 
and the concerns of my family. But 
woidd you crown them all, let it be by 
your care that I may see you (as I hope 
I soon shall) perfectly recovered. If 
your health should permit, I think you 
cannot do better than to take the oppor- 
tunity of embarking with my quaestor 
Mescinius ; for he is a good-natured man, 
and seems to have conceived a friendship 
for you. The care of your voyage in- 
deed is the next thing I would recom- 
mend to you, after that of your health. 
However, I would now by no means 
have you hurry yourself ; as my single 
concern is for your recovery. Be as- 
sured, my dear Tiro, that all my friends 
are yours ; and consequently, as your 
health is of the greatest importance to 
me as well as to yourself, there are num- 
bers who are solicitous for its preserva- 
tion. Your assiduous attendance upon 
me has hitherto prevented you from 
paying due regard to it. But nov/ that 
you are wholly at leisure, I conjure you 
to devote all your application to that 
single object : and I shall judge of the 
aflfection you bear me, by your com- 
pliance with this request. Adieu, my 
dear Tiro, adieu ! adieu ! may you soon 
be restored to the perfect enjoyment of 
your health ! 

Lepta, together with aU your other 
friends, salute you. Farewell, 



yourself so surrounded v/ith the army 
as to render it impossible to withdraw, 
though you should be ever so much in- 
clined. The next question is (and it is 
a question which you yourselves are best 
able to determine), whether any ladies of 
your rank venture to continue in the city : 
if not, will it be consistent with your 
character to appear singular in that point? 
But be that as it will, yon cannot, I think, 
as affairs are now situated, be more com- 
modiously placed, than either with me 
or at some of our farms in this district ; 
supposing, I mean, that I should be able 
to maintain my present post. I must add 
likewise, that a short time, 'tis to be 
feared, will produce a great scarcity in 
Rome. However, I shoidd be glad you 
would take the sentiments of Atticus, or 
Camillus, or any other friend whom you 
may choose to consult upon this subject. 
In the mean while, let me conjure you 
both to keep up your spirits. The 
coming over of Labienus to our party 
has given affairs a much better aspect. 
And Piso having withdrawn himself from 
the city, is likewise another very favour- 
able circumstance : as it is a plain indi- 
cation, that he disapproves the impious 
measures of his son-in-law. 

I intreat you, my dearest creatures, 
to write to me as frequently as possible, 
and let me know how it is with you, as 
well as what is going forward in Rome. 
My brother and nephew, together with 
Rufus, affectionately salute you. Fare- 
well 



LETTER XXYIII. 

To Terentia and to TuUia. 

MintunicE, Jan. the 25th. [A. U. 704.] 
In what manner it may be proper to 
dispose of yourselves, during the pre- 
sent conjuncture, is a question which 
must now be decided by your own judg- 
ments as much as by mine. Should Csesar 
advance to Rome without committing 
hostilities, you may certainly for the 
present at least remain there unmolested : 
but if this madman should give up tlie 
city to the rapine of his soldiers, I must 
doubt whether even Dolabella's credit 
and authority will be sufficient to protect 
you. I am under some apprehension 
likewise, lest whilst you are deliberating 
in what manner to act, you triiould find 



LETTER XXIX. 

To the same. 

Formias*, the 25th. [A, U. 704.] 
It well deserves consideration, whether 
it will be more prudent for you to con- 
tinue in Rome, or to remove to some se- 
cure place within my department ; and it 
is a consideration, my dearest creatures, 
in which your own judgments must as- 
sist mine. What occurs to my present 
thoughts is this ; on the one hand, as you 
will probably find a safe protection in 
Dolabella, your residing in Rome may 
prove a mean of secui'ing our house from 
being plundered, should the soldiers be 

* A maritime citj' in Cainj)ania, not far 
from Minturna?, the place fiom whence the 
preceding letter is dated. 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



suffered to commit any violences of that 
kind. But on the other, when I reflect 
that all the worthier part of the republic 
have withdrawn themselves and their 
families from the city ; I am inclined to 
advise you to foUow their example. I 
must add likewise, that there are several 
towns in this canton of Italy under my 
command, which are particularly in our 
interest : as also, that great part of our 
estate lies in the same district. If there- 
fore you should remove thither, you may 
not only very frequently he with me, 
but whenever we shall be obliged to se- 
parate, you may be safely lodged at one 
or other of my farms. However, I am 
utterly unable to determine, at present, 
which of these schemes is preferable ; 
only let me intreat you to observe whai, 
steps other ladies of your rank pursue in 
this conjuncture : and be caut'ous like- 
wise that you be not prevented from re- 
tiring, should it prove your choice. In 
the mean time, I hope you will maturely 
deliberate upon this point between your- 
selves ; and take the opinion also of our 
friends. At all events, I desire you 
would direct Philotimus to procure a 
strong guard to defend our house ; to 
which request I must add, that you would 
engage a proper number of regular cou- 
riers, in order to give me the satisfac- 
tion of hearing from you every day. But 
above aU, let me conjure you both, to 
take care of your healths as you wish to 
preserve mine. Farewell. 



LETTER XXX. 

To Terentia. 

June the 11th. [A. U. T04.] 
I AM entirely free from the disorder in 
my stomach ; which was the more pain- 
ful, as I saw it occasioned both you and 
that dear girl, whom I love better than 
my life, so much uneasiness. I dis- 
covered the cause of this complaint the 
night after I left you, having discharged 
a great quantity of phlegm. This gave 
me so immediate a relief, that I cannot 
but believe I owe my cure to some hea- 
venly interposition : to Apollo, no doubt, 
and iEsculapius. You will offer up your 
grateful tributes therefore to these re- 
storing powers, with all the ardency of 
your usual devotion. 



I am this moment embarked * ; and 
have procured a ship which I hope is 
well able to perform her voyage. As 
soon as I shaU have fiinshed this letter, I 
propose to write to several of my friends 
recommending you and our dearest Tullia 
in the strongest terms to their protection. 
In the mean time, I should exhort you to 
keep up your spirits, if I did not know 
that you are both animated with a more 
than manly fortitude. And indeed I 
hope there is a fair prospect of your re- 
maining in Italy without any inconve- 
nience, and of my returning to the de- 
fence of the republic, in conjunction with 
those who are no less faithfully devoted 
to its interest. 

After earnestly recommending to you 
the care of your health, let me make it 
my next request, that you would dispose 
of yourself in such of my villas as are at 
the greatest distance from the army. 
And if provisions should become scarce 
in Rome, I should think you will find it 
most convenient to remove with your 
servants to Arpinumf. 

The amiable young Cicero most ten- 
derly salutes you. Again and again I 
bid you farewell. 

LETTER XXXI. 

To the samei, 

[A. U. 704.3 
I AM informed by the letters of my 
friends as well as by other accounts, 
that you have had a sudden attack of a 
fever. I entreat you, therefore, to em- 
ploy the utmost care in re-establishing 
your health. 

The early notice you gave me of 
Caesar's letter was extremely agreeable 
to me : and let me desire you would 
send me the same expeditious intelli- 
gence, if any thing should hereafter oc- 
cur that concerns me to know. Once 
more I conjure you to take care of your 
health. Farewell. 



* In order to join Pompey in Greece; who 
had left Italy about three months before the 
date of this letter. 

f A city in the country of the Volsci : a 
district of Italy, which now comprehends part 
of the Campagna di Roma, and of the Terra di 
Lavoro. Cicero was born in this town, which 
still subsists under the name of Arpino. 

X This letter was written by Cicero in the 
camp at Dyrrachium. 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



23 



LETTER XXXII. 

To the same *. 

[A. U. 704..] 
I INTREAT you to take all proper mea- 
sures for the recovery of your health. 
Let me request, likewise, that you would 
provide whatever may be necessary in 
the present conjuncture : and that you 
would send me frequent accounts how 
every thing goes on. Farewell. 

LETTER XXXIII. 

To the same. 

July the 15th. [A. U. 704] 
I HAVE seldom an opportunity of writ- 
ing; and scarce any thing to say that 
I choose to trust in a letter. I find by 
your last, that you cannot meet with a 
purchaser for any of our farms. I beg 
therefore, you would consider of some 
other method of raising money, in or- 
der to satisfy that person, who you are 
sensible I am very desirous should be 
paid f. 

I am bjr no means surprised that you 
should have received the thanks of our 
friend, as I dare say she had great 
reason to acknowledge your kindness. 

If Pollux X is not yet set out, I desire 
you would exercise your authority, and 
force the loiterer to depart immediately. 
Farewell. 

LETTER XXXIV. 

To Tci^entia. 

Brundisium, Nov. the 5tb. [A. U. 704.] 
May the joy you express at my safe 
arrival in Italy § be never interrupted ! 

* This letter was probably written soon 
after the foregoing, and from the same place. 

•f- This letter, as well as the two former, was 
written while Cicero was with Pompey in 
Greece. The business at which he so obscurely 
hints has been thought to relate to the pay- 
ment of part of Tullia's portion to Dolabella. 

X It appears by a letter to Atticus, that this 
person acted as a sort of steward in Cicero's 
family. 

§ After the battle of Pharsalia Cicero would 
not engage himself any farther with the Pom- 
peian party ; but having endeavoured to make 
his peace with Caesar by the mediation of Do- 
labella, he seems to have received no other 
answer, than an order to return immediately 
into Italy. And this he accordingly did a few 
days before the date of the present letter. 



But my mind was so much discomposed 
by those atrocious injuries I had re- 
ceived, that I have taken a step, I fear, 
which may be attended with great dif- 
ficulties. Let me then intreat your ut- 
most assistance : though I must confess, 
at the same time, that I know not 
wherein it can avail me. 

I would by no means have you think 
of coming hither. For the journey is 
both long and dangerous : and I do not 
see in what manner you could be of any 
service. Farewell. 

LETTER XXXV. 

To the same. 

[A. U. 704.] 
The ill state of health into which TuUia 
is fallen, is a very severe addition to the 
many and great disquietudes that afflict 
my mind. But I need say nothing 
farther upon this subject, as I am sure 
her welfare is no less a part of your ten- 
der concern than it is of mine. 

I agree both with you and her in 
thinking it proper that I should ad- 
vance nearer to Rome : and I should 
have done so before now, if I had not 
been prevented by several difficulties, 
which I am not yet able to remove. But 
I am in expectation of a letter from 
Atticus, with his sentiments upon this 
subject : and I beg you would forward 
it to me by the earliest opportunity. 
Farewell* 

LETTER XXXVI. 

To the same. 

[A. U. 704.] 
In addition to my other misfortunes, I 
have now to lament the illness both of 
Dolabella and Tullia. The whole frame 
of my mind is indeed so utterly discom- 
posed, that I know not what to resolve, 
or how to act, in any of my affairs. I 
can only conjure you to take care of 
yourself and of Tullia. Farewell. 

LETTER XXXVII. 

To the same. 

[A. U. 70l.i 
If any thing occurred worth communi- 
cating to you, my letters would be more 



24 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book L 



frequent and much longer. But I need 
not tell you the situation of my affairs ; 
and as to the effect they have upon my 
mind, 1 leave it to Lepta and Trebatius 
to inform you. I have only to add my 
intreaties, that you would take care 
of your own and Tullia's health. Fare- 
well. 



LETTER XXXVUL 

To Titius. 

[A. U. 704.] 
There is none of your friends less ca- 
pable than I am, to offer consolation to 
you under your present affliction ; as 
the share I take in your loss renders me 
gpreatly in need of the same g-ood ofiice 
myself. However, as my grief does not 
rise to the same extreme degree as yours, 
I should not think I discharged the duty 
which my connection and friendship with 
you require, if I remained altogether silent 
at a time when you are thus overwhelmed 
with sorrow. 1 determined therefore to 
suggest a few reflections to you which 
may alleviate at least, if not entirely re- 
move, the anguish of your heart. 

There is no maxim of consolation 
more common, yet at the same time there 
is none which deserves to be more fre- 
quently in our thoughts, than that we 
ought to remember, " We are men;" 
that is, creatures who are born to be 
exposed to calamities of every kind : 
and therefore, " that it becomes us to 
submit to the conditions by which we 
hold our existence, without being too 
much dejected by accidents which no 
prudence can prevent." In a word, 
that we should learn by " reflecting on 
tlie misfortunes which have attended 
others, that there is nothing singular 
in those v/hicli befal ourselves." But 
neither these, nor other arguments to the 
same ])urpose, which are inculcated in 
the writings of the philosophers, seem to 
have so strong a claim to success, as those 
which may be drawn from the present 
unhapj)y situation of public affairs, and 
that endless scries of misfortunes which 
is rising upon our country. They are 
such, indeed, that one cannot but account 
those to he most fortunate, who never 
knev/ what it was to be a parent ; and 
as to those persons who are deprived of 
their chihlren, in these times of general 



anarchy and misrule," they have much 
less reason to regret their loss, than if 
it had happened in a more flourishing 
period of the commonwealth, or while 
yet the republic had any existence. If 
your tears flow, indeed, from this ac- 
cident merely as it affects your own per- 
sonal happiness, it may be difficult per- 
haps entirely to restrain them. But if 
your sorrow takes its rise from a more 
enlarged and benevolent principle ; if it 
be for the sake of the dead themselves 
that you lament, it may be an easier task 
to assuage your grief. I shall not here 
insist upon an argument, which I have 
frequently heard maintained in specula- 
tive conversations, as well as often read 
likewise, in treatises that have been writ- 
ten upon the subject. " Death," say 
those philosophers, " cannot be consi- 
dered as an evil; because if any con- 
sciousness remains after our dissolu- 
tion, it is rather an entrance into im- 
mortality, than an extinction of life : 
and if none remains, there can be no 
misery where there is no sensibility." 
Not to insist, I say, upon any reasonings 
of this nature ; let me remind you of an 
argument which I can urge with much 
more confidence. He who has made his 
exit from a scene where such dreadful 
confusion prevails, and where so many 
approaching calamities are in prospect, 
cannot possibly, it should seem, be a 
loser by the exchange. Let me ask, 
not only where honour, virtue, and 
probity, where true philosophy and the 
useful arts can nov/ fly for refuge ; 
but where even our liberties and our 
lives can be secure ? For my own part, 
I have never once heard of the death 
of any youth during all this last sad 
year whom I have not considered as 
kindly delivered by the immortal gods 
from the miseries of these wretched times. 
If, therefore, you can be persuaded to 
think that their condition is by no means 
unhappy, v^hose loss you so tenderly de- 
plore ; it must undoubtedly prove a very 
considerable abatement of your present 
affliction. For it will then entirely arise 
from what you feel upon your own ac- 
count ; and have no relation to the per- 
sons whose death you regret. Now it 
would ill agree with those wise and ge- 
nerous maxims which have ever inspired 
your breast, to be too sensible of misfor- 
tunes which terminate in your own per- 
son, and affect not the happiness of those 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



25 



you love. You have upon all occasions, 
both public and private, shewn your- 
self animated with the firmest fortitude : 
and it becomes you to act up to the 
character you have thus justly acquired. 
Time necessarily wears out the deepest 
impressions of sorrow : and the weakest 
mother, that ever lost a child, has found 
some period to her grief. But we should 
wisely anticipate that effect which a cer- 
tain revolution of days will undoubtedly 
produce : and not wait for a remedy 
from time, which we may much sooner 
receive from reason. 

If what I have said can any thing- 
avail in lessening the weight of your 
affliction, I shall have obtained my 
wish ; if not, I shall at least have dis- 
charged the duties of that friendship 
and affection which, believe me, 1 ever 
have preserved, and ever shall preserve, 
towards you. Farewell. 

LETTER XXXIX. 

To Tereniia. 

December the 31st. [A. U. 705.] 
My affairs are at present in such a situ- 
ation, that I have no reason to expect a 
letter on your part, and have nothing 
to communicate to you on mine. Yet 
I know not how it is, I can no more 
forbear flattering myself that I may hear 
from you, than I can refrain from writ- 
ing to you whenever I meet mth a con- 
veyance. 

Volumnia ought to have shewn her- 
self more zealous for your interest : and 
in the particular instance you mention 
she might have acted with greater care 
and caution. This, however, is but a 
slight grievance amongst others which I 
far more severely feel and lament. They 
have the effect upon me, indeed, which 
those persons undoubtedly wished, who 
compelled nie into measures utterly op- 
posite to my own sentiments. Farewell. 

LETTER XL. 

To the same. 

[A. U. 706.] 

TuLLiA arrived here* on the 12th of 
this month f. It extremely affected 

* Brundisium ; where Cicero was still wait- 
ing for Csesar's arrival from Egypt. 
f June. 



me to see a woman of her singular and 
amiable virtues reduced (and reduced too 
by my own negligence) to a situation far 
other than is agreeable to her rank and 
filial piety:}:. 

I have some thoughts of sending my 
son, accompanied by Sallustius, with a 
letter to Ccesar § ; and if I should execute 
this design, I will let you know when he 
sets out. In the mean time be careful of 
your health, I conjure you. Farewell. 



LETTER XLI. 

To the same. 

June the 20th. [A. U. 70(5.] 
I HAD determined, agreeably to what I 
mentioned in my former, to send my son 
to meet Caesar on his return to Italy. 
But I have since altered my resolution, 
as I hear no news of his arrival. For 
the rest I refer you to Sicca, who will 
inform you what measures I think ne- 
cessary to be taken, though I must add, 
that nothing new has occured since I 
wrote last. Tullia is still with me. — 
Adieu, and take all possible care of your 
health. 

LETTER XLII. 

To the same. 

July the 9th. [A. U. 706. J 
I WROTE to Atticus (somewhat later in- 
deed than I ought) concerning the af- 
fair you mention. \Ylien you talk with 
him upon that head, he will inform you 
of my inclinations ; and I need not be 
more explicit here, after having written 
so fully to him. Let me know as soon 
as possible what steps are taken in that 
business ; and acquaint me at the same 
time with every thing else which con- 
cerns me. I have only to add my re- 
quest, that you woidd be carefid of your 
health. Farewell. 

X Dolabella was greatly embarrassed in his 
affairs; and it seems by this passage as if he 
had not allowed Tullia a maintenance duiing 
his absence abroad, sufficient to support her 
rank and dignity. 

§ In order to supplicate Ciesar's pardon for 
having engaged against him on the side of 
Pompey. 



26 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



LETTER XLin. 

To the same, 

July the 10th. [A. U. 706.] 
In answer to what you object concern- 
ing- the divorce I mentioned in my 
last*, I can only say that I am perfectly 
ignorant what power Dolabella may at 
this time possess, or what ferments there 
may be among the populace. However, 
if you think there is any thing to be ap- 
prehended from his resentment, let the 
matter rest ; and perhaps the first pro- 
posal may come from himself. Never- 
theless I leave you to act as you shall 
judge proper ; not doubting that you 
will take such measures in this most un- 
fortunate affair as shall appear to be at- 
tended with the fewest unhappy conse- 
quences. Farewell. 

LETTER XLIV. 

To Lucius Papirius Pectus, 

[A. U. 706.] 
Is it true, my friend, that you look up- 
on yourself as having been guilty of a 
most ridiculous piece of folly in attempt- 
ing to imitate the thunder, as you call it, 
of my eloquence ? With reason, indeed, 
you might have thought so, had you failed 
in your attempt : but since you have ex- 
celled the model you had in view, the 
disgrace surely is on my side, not on yours. 
The verse, tlierefore, which you apply to 
yourself from one of Trabea's comedies, 
may with much more justice be turned 
upon me, as my own eloquence falls far 
short of that perfection at which I aim. 
But tell me, what sort of figure do my 
letters make ; are they not written, think 
you, in the true familiar ? They do not 
constantly, however, preserve one uni- 
form manner, as this species of compo- 
sition bears no resemblance to that of the 
oratorical kind ; though indeed in judicial 
matters we vary our style according to 
the nature of the causes in which we are 
engaged. Those, for example, in which 
private interests of little moment are con- 
cerned, we treat with a suitable simplicity 
of diction ; but where the reputation or 
the life of our client is in question, we 
rise into greater pomp and dignity of 
phrase. But whatever may be the sub- 

* Uctwccn Tullia and Dolabella. 



ject of my letters, they still speak the 
language of conversation. Farewell. 

LETTER XLV. 

To Lucius Mescinius. 

[A. U. 707.] 
Your letter afforded me great pleasure, as 
it gave me an assurance (though indeed 
I wanted none) that you earnestly wish 
for my company. Believe me, I am 
equally desirous of yours ; and in truth, 
when there was a much greater abund- 
dance of patriot citizens and agreeable 
companions who were in the number of 
my friends, there was no man with whom 
I rather chose to associate, and few whose 
company I liked so well. But now that 
death, absence, or change of disposition, 
has so greatly contracted this social cir- 
cle, I should prefer a single day with you, 
to a whole life with the generality of those 
with whom I am at present obliged to 
live f. Solitude itself indeed (if solitude, 
alas ! I were at liberty to enjoy) would be 
far more eligible than the conversation 
of those who frequent my house ; one or 
two of them at most excepted. I seek 
my relief therefore (where I would advise 
you to look for yours) in amusements of 
a literary kind, and in the consciousness 
of having always intended well to my 
country. I have the satisfaction to reflect 
(as I dare say you will readily believe), 
that I never sacrificed the public good to 
my own private views ; that if a certain 
person (whom for my sake, I am sure, 
you never loved) had not looked upon 
me with a jealous eye |, both himself and 
every friend to liberty had been happy : 
that I always endeavoured that it should 
not be in the power of any man to disturb 
the public tranquillity ; and in a word, 
that when I perceived those arms which I 
had ever dreaded would prove an over- 
match for that patriot-coalition I had my- 
self formed in the republic, I thought it 
better to accept of a safe peace upon any 
terms, than impotently to contend with 
a superior force. But I hope shortly to 

f The chiefs of the Caesarean party, with 
whom Cicero now found it convenient to culti- 
vate a friendship, in order to ingratiate him- 
self with CjEsar. 

X Pornpey, who being jealous of the popula- 
rity which Cicero had acquired during his con- 
sulship, struck in with the designs of Caesar, 
and others who had formed a party against our 
author. 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



27 



talk over these and many more points 
with you in person. Nothing indeed de- 
tains me in Rome, but to wait the event 
of the war in Africa, which, I imagine, 
must now he soon decided. And though 
it seems of little importance on which 
side the victory shall turn, yet I think it 
may he of some advantage to be near my 
friends when the news shall arrive, in or- 
der to consult with them on the measures 
it may be advisable for me to pursue. 
Affairs are now reduced to such an un- 
happy situation, that though there is 
considerable difference, 'tis true, between 
the cause of the contending parties, I be- 
lieve there will be very little as to the 
consequence of their success. However, 
though my spirits were too much dejected, 
perhaps, whilst our affairs remained in 
suspense, I find myself much more com- 
posed now that they are utterly des- 
perate. Your last letter has contributed 
to confirm me in this disposition ; as it 
is an instance of the magnanimity with 
which you support your unjust disgrace *. 
It is with particular satisfaction I observe 
that you owe this heroic calmness not 
only to philosophy, but to temper. For 
I will confess, that I imagined your mind 
was softened with that too delicate sen- 
sibility which we, who passed our lives in 
the ease and freedom of Rome, were apt 
in general to contract. But as we bore 
our prosperous days with moderation, it 
becomes us to bear our adverse fortune, 
or more properly indeed our irretrievable 
ruin, with fortitude. This advantage we 
may at least derive from our extreme ca- 
lamities, that they will teach us to look 
upon death with contempt ; which, even 
if we were happy, we ought to despise, as 
a state of total insensibility ; but which, 
under our present auctions, should be 
the object of our constant wishes. Let not 
any fears, then, I conjure you, by your 
affection for me, disturb the peace of 
your retirement ; and be well persuaded, 
nothing can befal a man that deserves to 
raise his dread and horror, but (what I 
am sure ever was, and ever will be, far 
from you) the reproaches of a guilty 
heart. 

I purpose to pay you a visit very soon, 
if nothing should happen to make it ne- 
cessary for me to change my resolution : 
and if there should, I will immediately 

* Mescinius, it is probable, was banished 
by Caesar, as a partisan of Pompey, to a cer- 
tain distance from Rome. 



let you know. But I hope you will not, 
whilst you are in so weak a condition, be 
tempted, by your impatience of seeing 
me, to remove from your present situa- 
tion, at least not without previously con- 
sulting me. In the mean time, continue 
to love me, and take care both of your 
health and your repose. FareweD. 

LETTER XLVI. 

To Varro. 

[A. U. 707.] 
Though I have nothing to write, yet 
I could not suffer Caninius to pay you 
a visit, without taking the opportunity 
of conveying a letter by his hands. And 
now I know not what else to say, but 
that I propose to be with you very soon : 
an information, however, which I am per- 
suaded you will be glad to receive. But 
will it be altogether decent to appear in 
so gay a scene f at a time when Rome 
is in such a general flame ? And shall we 
not furnish an occasion of censure to those 
who do not know that we observe the 
same sober philosophical life, in all sea- 
sons, and in every place ? Yet after all, 
what imports it, since the world wiU talk 
of us, in spite of our utmost caution ? And 
indeed whilst our censurers are immersed 
in every kind of flagitious debauchery, 
it is much worth our concern, truly, 
what they say of our innocent relaxations. 
In just contempt, therefore, of these illite- 
rate barbarians, it is my resolution to join 
you very speedily. I know not how it is, 
indeed, but it should seem that our fa- 
vourite studies are- attended with much 
greater advantages in these wretched 
times than formerly ; whether it be that 
they are now our only resource ; or that 
we were less sensible of their salutary ef- 
fects when we were in too happy a state 
to have occasion to experience them. 
But this is sending owls to Athens:}:, as 
we say ; and suggesting reflections which 
your own mind will far better supply. 
All that I mean by them, however, is to 

f Varro seems to have requested Cassar to 
give him a meeting at Baiae, a place much fre- 
quented by the Romans on account of its hot 
baths ; as the agreeableness of its situation on 
the bay of Naples rendered it at the same time 
the general resort of the pleasurable world. 

X A proverbial expression of the same im- 
port with that of ♦* sending coals to New- 
castle." It alludes to the Athenian coin, 
which was stamped (as Manutius observes) 
with the figure of an owl. 



28 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book 



draw a letter from you in return, at the 
same time that I give you notice to ex- 
pect me soon. Farewell. 

LETTER XLVIL 

To Papirius Patiis. 

[A. U. 707.] 

Your letter afforded me a very agree- 
able instance of your friendship, in the 
concern it expressed lest I should he un- 
easy at the report which had been brought 
hither by Silius*. I was before indeed 
perfectly sensible how much you were 
disturbed at this circumstance, by your 
care in sending me duplicates of a former 
letter upon the same subject : and I then 
returned such an answer as I thought 
would be sufficient to abate at least, if 
not entirely remove, this your generous 
solicitude. But since I perceive, by your 
last letter, how much this affair still 
dwells upon your mind ; let me assure 
you, my dear Psetus, that I have employed 
every artifice (for we must now, my 
friend, be armed with cunning as well as 
prudence) to conciliate the good graces 
of the persons you mention ; and, if I 
mistake not, my endeavours have not 
proved in vain. I received indeed so many 
marks of respect and esteem from those 
who are most in Ceesar's favour, that 1 
cannot but flatter myself they have a true 
regard for me. It must be confessed at 
the same time, that a pretended affection 
is not easily discernible from a real one, 
unless in seasons of distress. For adversity 
is to friendship what fire is to gold ; the 
only infallible test to discover the genuine 
from tlie counterfeit ; in all other circum- 
stances they both bear the same common 
signatures. I have one strong reason, how- 
ever, to persuade me of their sincerity ; 
as neither their situation nor mine can by 
any means tempt them to dissemble with 
me. As to that person f in whom all 
power is now centred, 1 am not sensible 
that I have any thing to fear from him ; 
or nothing more, at least, than what arises 
from that general jirecarious state in 
which all things must stand where the 
fence of laws is broken down ; and from 
its being impossible to pronounce with 

* Silius, it should seem, had brought an ac- 
count from the army, that some witticisms of 
Cicero had been reported to Cocsar, which had 
given him ofVencc. 

f Caisar. 



assurance concerning any event, which 
depends wholly upon the will, not to say 
the caprice, of another. But this I can 
with confidence affirm, that I have not 
in any single instance given him just oc- 
casion to take offence ; and in the article 
you point out, I have been particularly 
cautious. Tliere was a time, 'tis true, 
when I thought it well became me, by 
Avhom Rome itself was free|, to speak 
my sentiments with freedom : but now 
that our liberties are no more, I deem 
it equally agreeable to my present situ- 
ation, not to say any thing that may dis- 
gust either Caesar or his favourites . But 
were I to suppress every rising raillery 
that might pique those at whom it is 
directed, I must renounce, you know, all 
my reputation as a wit. And in good 
earnest, it is a character upon which I do 
not set so high a value, as to be unwill- 
ing to resign it if it were in my power. 
However, I am in no danger of suffering 
in Caesar's opinion, by being represented 
as the author of any sarcasms to which I 
have no claim ; for his judgment is much 
too penetrating ever to be deceived by any 
imposition of this nature. I remember 
your brother Servius, whom 1 look upon 
to have been one of the most learned 
critics that this age has produced, was 
so conversant in the writings of the poets, 
and had acquired such an excellent and 
judicious ear, that he could immediately 
distinguish the numbers of Plautus from 
those of any other author. Thus Caesar, 
I am told, when he made his large col- 
lection of apophthegms §, constantly re- 
jected any piece of wit that was brought 
to him as mine, if it happened to be 
spurious : a distinction which he is much 
more able to make at present, as his par- 
ticular friends jjass almost every day of 
their lives in my company. As our con- 
versation generally turns upon a variety of 
subjects, I frequently strike out thoughts 
which they look upon as not altogether 
void, perhaps, of spirit and ingenuity. 
Now these little sallies of pleasantry, to- 
gether with the general occurrences of 
Rome, are constantly transmitted to Cae- 
sar, in pursuance of his own express di- 

X Alluding to his services in the suppression 
of Catiline's conspiracy. 

§ This collection was made by Caesar when 
he was very young; and probably it. was a per- 
formance by no means to his honour. For 
Augustus, into whose hands it came after his 
death, would not suffer it to be published. 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



29 



rection : so that if any thing* of this kind 
be mentioned by others as coming- from 
me, he always disregards it. You see. 
then, that the lines yon quote with so 
much propriety from the tragedy of 
(Enomaus*, contain a caution aitog'ether 
imnecessary. For tell me, my friend, 
what jealousies can I possibly create ? Or 
who will look witli envy upon a man in 
my humble situation? But granting that 
I were in ever so enviable a state ; jet let 
me observe, that it is the opinion of those 
philosophers, who alone seem to have 
understood the true nature of virtue, that 
a good man is answerable for nothing 
farther than his own innocence. Now 
in this respect I think mj self doubly ir- 
reproachable ; in the first place, by hav- 
ing recommended such public measures 
as were for the interest of the common- 
wealth ; and in the next, that finding I 
was not sufficiently supported to render 
my coinisels effectual, I did not deem it 
advisable to contend for them by arms 
against a superior strength. Most cer- 
tainly, therefore, I cannot justly be ac- 
cused of having failed in the duty of a 
good citizen. Tlie only part then that 
now remains for me, is to be cautious not 
to expose myself, by any indiscreet word 
or action, to the resentment of those in 
power : a part which I hold likewise to 
be agreeable to the character of true 
wisdom. As to the rest ; what liberties 
any man may take in imputing words to 
me which I never spoke ; what credit 
Csesar may give to such reports ; and 
how far those who court my friendship, 
are really sincere ; these are points for 
which it is by no means in my power to 
be answerable. My tranquillity arises, 
therefore, from the conscious integrity of 
my counsels in the times that are past, 
and from the moderation of my conduct 
in these that are present. Accordingly, 
I apply the simile you quote from Ac- 
ciusf, not only to Envj-, but to Fortune ; 
that weak and inconstant power, whom 
every wise and resolute mind should re- 
sist, with as much firmness as a rock re- 
pels the waves. Grecian story Avill abun- 
dantly supply examples of the greatest 
men, both at Athens and Syracuse, who 
have in some sort preserved their inde- 
pendency amidst the general servitude of 
their respective communities. May I not 

* Written by Accius, a tragic poet, who flou- 
rished about the year of Rome 617. 

f The poet mentioned in the preceding re- 
mark. 



hope then to be able so to comport my- 
self under the same circumstances, as 
neither to give offence to oiu' riders, on 
the one hand, nor to injure the dignity 
of my character, on the other ? 

But to tiu-n from the serious to the 
jocose part of your letter.— The strain of 
pleasantry you break into, immediately 
after having quoted the tragedy of (Eno- 
maus, puts me in mind of the modern 
method of introducing at the end of those 
graver dramatic pieces, the buffoon hu- 
mour of our low mimes, instead of the 
more delicate burlesque of the old Atel- 
lan farces I Why else do you talk of 
yoiu- paltry pol^^us§, and your mouldy 
cheese ? In pure good-nature, 'tis true, 
I formerly submitted to sit dovm v/itli you 
to such homely fare : but more refined 
company has improved me into a better 
taste. For Hirtius and DolabeUa, let 
me tell you, are my preceptors in the 
science of the table ; as in return, they 
are my disciples in that of the bar. But 
I suppose you have already heard, at least 
if all the town-news be transmitted to 
you, that they frequently declaim at my 
house|!, and that I as often sup at theirs. 
You must not however hope to escape 
my intended visit, by pleading poverty 
in bar to the admission of so luxui'ious a 
guest. Wliilst you were raising a fortune 
indeed, I bore with your parsimonious 
humour : but now that you are in circum- 
stances to support the loss of half your 
wealth, I expect that you receive me in 
another manner than you would one of 
your compounding debtors^ . And though 

J These Atellan farces, which in the earlier 
periods of the Roman stage were acted at the 
end of the more serious dramatic perform- 
ances, derived their name from Atella, a town in 
Italy; from whence they were first introduced 
at Rome. They consisted of a more liberal 
and genteel kind of humour than the mimes, 
a species of comedy, which seems to have 
taken its subject from low life. 

§ A sea-fish so extremely tough, that it was 
necessary to beat it a considerable time before 
it could be rendered fit for the table. 

II Cicero had lately instituted a kind of aca- 
demy for eloquence in his own house ; at 
which several of the leading young men in 
Rome used to meet, in order to exercise them- 
selves in the art of oratory. 

^ This alludes to a law which Caesar passed in 
favour of those who had contracted debts before 
the commencement of the civil war. By this 
law commissioners were appointed to take an 
accountof the estate and effects ofthese debtors, 
which were to be assigned to their respective 
creditors according to their valuation before 



30 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book L 



your finances may somewhat suffer by 
my visit, remember it is better tbey 
should be impaired by treating a friend, 
than by lending to a stranger. I do not 
insist, however, that you spread your ta- 
ble with so unbounded a profus'on as to 
furnish out a splendid treat with the re- 
mains ; I am so wonderftilly moderate, 
as to desire nothing more than what is 
perfectly elegant and exquisite in its kind. 
I remember to have heard you describe 
an entertainment which was given by 
Phameas. Let yours be the exact copy 
of his : only I should be glad not to wait 
for it quite so long. Should you still 
persist, after all, to invite me, as usual, to 
a penurious supper, dished out by the 
sparing hand of maternal oeconomy ; even 
this, perhaps, I may be able to support. 
But I would fain see that hero bold who 
should dare to set before me the vil- 
lanous trash you mention ; or even one 
of your boasted polypuses, with an hue 
as florid as vermilioned Jove*. Take my 
word for it, my friend, your prudence 
will not suffer you to be thus adventu- 
rous. Fame, no doubi, will have pro- 
claimed at your villa my late conversion 
to luxury, long before my arrival : and 
you will shiver at the sound of her tre- 
mendous report. Nor must you flatter 
yourself with the hope of abating the 
edge of my appetite, by your cloying 
sweet wines before supper : a silly custom 
which I have now entirely renounced : 
being much wiser than when I used to 
damp my stomach with your antepasts 
of olives and Lucanian sausages. — But 
not to run on any longer in this jocose 
strain ; my only serious wish is, that I may 
be able to make you a visit. You may 
compose your countenance, therefore, 
and return to your mouldy cheese in full 
security : for my being your guest will 
occasion you, as usual, no other expence 
than that of heating your baths. As for 
all the rest, you are to look upon it as 
mere pleasantry. 

The trouble you have given yourself 
about Selicius's villaf, is extremely ob- 

the civil war broke out^ and whatever sums 
had been paid for interest, were to be consi- 
dered as in discharge of the principal. By 
this ordinance Paitus, it seems, had been a 
particular sufferer. 

* Pliny, the naturalist, mentions a statue of 
Jupiter erected in the Capitol, which on cer- 
tain festival days it was customary to paint 
with vermilion. * 

f In Naples. 



liging ; as your description of it was ex- 
cessively droU. I believe therefore, from 
the account you give me, I shall renounce 
all thoughts of making that purchase : 
for though the country, it seems, abounds 
in salt, the neighbourhood, I find, is but 
insipid. Farewell. 

LETTER XLVIIL 

To Papirius Pcetus. 

[A. U. 701.] 
Your letter gave me a double pleasure : 
for it not only diverted me extremely, 
but was a proof likewise that you are so 
well recovered as to be able to indulge 
your usual gaiety. I was well contented 
at the same time to find myself the sub- 
ject of your raillery ; and, in truth, the 
repeated provocations, I had given you, 
were sufficient to call forth all the severity 
of your satire. My only regret is, that 
I am prevented from taking my intended 
journey into your part of the world ; 
where I proposed to have made myself, 
I do not say your guest, but one of your 
family. You would have found me won- 
derfully changed from the man I for- 
merly was, when you used to cram me 
with your cloying antepasts |. For I 
now more prudently sit down to table 
with an appetite altogether unimpaired, 
and most heroically make my way through 
every dish that comes before me, from 
the e^^^ that leads the van, to the roast 
veal that brings up the rear||. The 
temperate and unexpensive guest whom 
you were wont to applaud, is now no 
more. I have bidden a total farewell to 
all the cares of the patriot ; and have 
joined the professed enemies of my for- 
mer principles ; in short, I am become 
an absolute Epicurean. You are by no 
means however to consider me as a friend 
to that injudicious profusion, which is 

X These antepasts seem to have been a kind 
of collation preparatory to the principal enter- 
tainment. They generally consisted, it is pro- 
bable, of such dishes ds were provocatives to 
appetite : but prudent oeconomists, as may be 
collecJ-cd from the turn of Cicero's raillery, 
sometimes contrived them in such a manner 
as to damp rather than improve the stomach 
of their guests. 

§ The first dish at every Roman table was 
constantly eggs; which maintained their post 
of honour even at the most magnificent enter- 
tainments. 

II It appears by a passage which Manutius 
cites from TertuUian, that the Romans usually 
concluded their feasts with broiled or roast 
meat. 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



31 



now the prevailing- taste of our modern 
entertainments : on the contrary, it is 
that more elegant luxury I admire, which 
you formerly used to display when your 
finances were more flourishing, though 
your farms were not more numerous than 
at present. Be prepared therefore for 
my reception accordingly ; and remem- 
ber you are to entertain a man who has 
not only a most enormous appetite, hut 
who has some little knowledge, let me 
tell you, in the science of elegant eating. 
You know there is a peculiar air of self- 
sufficiency, that generally distinguishes 
those who enter late into the study of 
any art. You wiU not wonder, therefore, 
when I take upon me to inform you, that 
you must banish your cakes and your 
sweetmeats, as articles that are now ut- 
terly discarded from aU fashionable bills 
of fare. I am become indeed such a pro- 
ficient in this science, that I frequently 
venture to invite to my table those re- 
fined friends of yours, the delicate Vir- 
rius and Camillus. Nay I am bolder 
still, and have presumed to give a supper 
even to Hirtius himself ; though, I 
must own, I could not advance so far as 
to honour him with a peacock. To tell 
you the truth, my honest cook had not 
skill enough to imitate any other part of 
his splendid entertainments, except only 
his smoking soups. 

But to give you a general sketch of my 
manner of life ; I spend the first part of 
the morning in receiving the compli- 
ments of several, both of oui* dejected 
patriots and our gay victors : the latter 
of whom treat me with great marks of 
civility and esteem. As soon as that 
ceremo ly is over, I retire to my library ; 
where I employ myself either with my 
books or my pen. And here I am some- 
times surrounded by an audience, who 
look upon me as a man of most profound 
erudition, for no other reason, perhaps, 
than because I am not altogether so ig- 
norant as themselves. The rest of my 
time I wholly devote to indulgences of a 
less intellectual kind. I have sufficiently 
indeed paid the tribute of sorrow to my 
unhappy country ; the miseries whereof 
I have longer and more bitterly lamented, 
than ever tender mother bewailed the 
loss of her only son. 

Let me desire you, as you would se- 
cure your magazine of provisions from 
falling into my hands, to take care of 



your health ; for I have most unmerci- 
fully resolved that no pretence of indis- 
position shall preserve your larder from 
my depredations. Farewell. 

LETTER XLIX. 

To Gallus. 

[A. U. 707.] 
1 AM much surprised at your reproaches ; 
as I am sure they are altogether v/ithout 
foundation. But were they ever so just, 
they would come with a very ill grace 
from you, who ought to have remem- 
bered those marks of distinction you 
received from me during my consulate. 
It seems, however (for so you are pleased 
to inform me) , that Caesar will certainly 
restore you. I know you are never 
sparing of your boasts : but I know too, 
that they have the ill luck never to be 
credited. It is in the same spirit you re- 
mind me, that you offered yourself as a 
candidate for the tribunitial office, merely 
in order to serve me*. Now to shew 
you how much I am in your interest, I 
wish you were a tribune still : as in that 
case you could not be at a loss for an in- 
tercessor ■\. You go on to reproach me, 
with not daring to speak my sentiments. 
In proof however of the contrary, I need 
only refer you to the reply I made, when 
you had the front to solicit my assistance. 
Thus (to let you see how absolutely 
impotent you are, where you most af- 
fect to appear formidable) I thought 
proper to answer you in your own style. 
If you had made your remonstrances in 
the spirit of good manners, I should with 
pleasure, as I could with ease, have vin- 
dicated myself from your charge : and 
in truth, it is not your conduct, but your 
language, that I have reason to resent. 
I am astonished indeed that you, of all 
men living, should accuse' me of want of 
freedom, who are sensible it is by my 
means that there is any freedom left in 

* Probablj' during Cicero's exile. 

f Cicero's witticism in this passage, turns 
upon the doxible sense of the word intercessor : 
which, besides its general meaning, hasrelation 
likewise to a particular privilege annexed to 
the tribunitial office. For every tribune had 
the liberty of interposing his negative upon the 
proceedings of the senate: which act was called 
intercessio, and the person who executed it was 
said to be the intercessor of the particular law, 
or other matter in deliberation. 



32 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



the republic"*. I say j/oz* of all men liv- 
ing: tiecause, if the informations you 
gave me concerning Catiline's conspiracy 
were false ; where are the services of 
which you remind me ? If they were 
true, you yourself are the best judge how 
great those obligations are which I have 
conferred upon every Roman in general. 
Farewell. 

LETTER L. 

To CcBsar. 

[A. U. 708.] 

I VERY particularly recommend to your 
favour the son of our worthy and com- 
mon friend Prfecilias : a youth whose 
modest and polite behaviour, together 
with his singular attachment to myself, 
have exceedingly endeared him to me. 
His father likewise, as experience has 
now fully convinced me, was always my 
most sincere well-wisher. For to confess 
the truth, he was the first and most zeal- 
ous of those who used both to rally and 
reproach me for not joining in your 
cause : especially after you had invited 
me by so many honourable overtures. 
But, 

All unavailing prov'd his every art, 
To shake the purpose of my stedfast heart. 
HoM. Odyss. vii. 258. 

For whilst the gallant chiefs of our 
party were on the other side perpetually 
exclaiming to me. 

Rise thou, distinguish'd midst the sons of 

fame, 
And fair transmit to times unborn thy name. 
HoM. Odyss, i. 502. 

Too easy dupe of flattery's specious voice, 
Darkling I stray'd from -wisdom's better 
choice. 

HoM. Odyss. xxiv. 314. 

And fain would they still raise my spi- 
rits, while they endeavour, insensible as I 
now am to the charms of glory, to re- 
kindle that passion in my heart. With 
this view they are ever repeating — 

O let me not inglorious sink in death, 
And yield like vulgar souls my parting breath: 
In some brave effort give me to expire, 
That distant ages may the deed admire ! 
HoM. II. xxii. 

But I am immoveable, as you see, by 
all their persuasions. Renouncing there- 

* Alluding to his having suppressed Cati- 
line's conspiracy. 



fore, the pompous heroics of Homer, I 
turn to the just maxims of Euripides, 
and say with that poet. 

Curse on the sage, who,, impotently wise, 
O'erlooks the paths where humbler pru- 
dence lies. 

My old friend Preecilius is a great ad- 
mirer of the sentiment in these lines ; 
insisting, that a patriot may preserve a 
prudential regard to his own safety, and 

yet, 

Above his peers the first in honour shine. 
HoM. II. vi. 208. 

But to return from this digression : 
you will greatly oblige me by extending 
to this young man that uncommon ge- 
nerosity which so peculiarly marks your 
character ; and by suffering my recom- 
mendation to increase the number of 
those favours which I am persuaded you 
are disposed to confer upon him for the 
sake of his family. 

I have not addressed you in the usual 
style of recommendatory letters, that 
you might see I did not intend this as 
an application of common form. Fare- 
well. 

LETTER LI. 

To Dolabcllaf. 

[A. U. 708.] 
Oh ! that the silence you so kindly re- 
gret, had been occasioned by my own 
death, rather than by the severe loss I have 
suffered^ ; a loss I should be better able 
to support, if I had you with me. For 
your judicious counsels, and singular af- 
fection towards me, would greatly con- 
tribute to alleviate its weight. This good 
office indeed I may yet perhaps receive ; 
for as I imagine we shall soon see you 
here, you will find me still so deeply af- 
fected, as to have an opportunity of afford- 
ing me great assistance. Not that this 
affliction has so broken my spirit as to 
render me unmindftd that I am a man, 
or apprehensive that I must totally sink 
under its pressure. But all that cheer- 
fulness and vivacity of temper, which you 
once so particularly admired, has now, 
alas ! entirely forsaken me. My fortitude 
and resolution, nevertheless (if these 
virtues were ever mine), I still retain, 

f He was at this time with Csesar in Spain. 
X The death of his daughter TuUia. 



Sect. I. 



CICERO. 



33 



and retain them too in the same vig'our 
as when you left me. 

As to those battles which, you tell me, 
you have sustained upon my account ; I 
am far less solicitous that you should 
confute my detractors, than that the 
world should know (as it unquestionably 
does) that I enjoy a place in your aifec- 
tion : and may you still continue to ren- 
der that truth conspicuous. To this re- 
quest I will add another, and intreat you 
to excuse me for not sending you a longer 
letter. I shorten it, not only as ima- 
gining we shall soon meet, but because 
my mind is at present by no means suffi- 
ciently composed for writing. Farewell. 

LETTER LIL 

Servius Sulpicius to Cicet'o. 

[A. U. 708.] 
I RECEIVED the news of your daughters 
death with all the concern it so justly 
deserves ; and indeed I cannot but con- 
sider it as a misfortune in which I bear 
an equal share with yourself. If I had 
been near you when this fatal accident 
happened, I should not only have min- 
gled my tears with yours, but assisted you 
with all the consolation in my power. I 
am sensible, at the same time, that offices 
of this kind afford at best but a wretched 
relief ; for as none are qualified to per- 
form them, but those who stand near to 
us by the ties either of blood or affection, 
such persons are generally too much af- 
flicted themselves to be capable of admi- 
nistering comfort to others. Neverthe- 
less, I thought proper to suggest a few 
reflections which occurred to me upon 
this occasion ; not as imagining they 
would be new to you, but believing that 
in your present discomposure of mind 
they might possibly have escaped your 
attention. Tell me, then, my friend, 
wherefore do you indulge this excess of 
sorrow ? Reflect, I entreat you, in what 
manner fortune has dealt with every one 
of us ; that she has deprived us of what 
ought to be no less dear than our chil- 
dren, and overwhelmed in one general 
ruin our honours, our liberties, and our 
country. And after these losses, is it pos- 
sible tliat any other should increase our 
tears ? Is it possible that a mind long- 
exercised in calamities so truly severe, 
sltould not become totally callous and 
indifferent to every event ? But you will 



tell me, perhaps, that your grief arises 
not so much on your own account as on 
that of Tullia. Yet surely you must often, 
as well as myself, have had occasion in 
these wretched times to reflect, that their 
condition by no means deserves to be re- 
gretted, whom death has gently removed 
from this unhappy scene. What is there, 
let me ask, in the present circumstances 
of our country, that could have rendered 
life greatly desirable to your daughter ? 
What pleasing hopes, what agreeable 
views, what rational satisfaction could 
she possibly have proposed to herself 
from a more extended period ? Was it in 
the prospect of conjugal happiness in the 
society of some distinguished youth ? as 
if, indeed, you could have found a son-in- 
law amongst our present set of young 
men, worthy of being intrusted with the 
care of your daughter ! Or was it in the 
expectation of being the joyful mother 
of a flourishing race, who might possess 
their patrimony with independence, who 
might gradually rise through the several 
dignities of the state, and exert the li- 
berty to which they were born in the 
service and defence of their friends and 
country ? But is there one amongst all 
these desirable privileges, of which we 
were not deprived before she was in a 
capacity of transmitting them to her de- 
scendants ? Yet, after all, you may still 
allege, perhaps, that the loss of our chil- 
dren is a severe affiiction ; and unques- 
tionably it would be so, if it were not a 
much greater to see them live to endure 
those indignities which their parents 
suffer. 

I lately fell into a reflection, which as 
it afforded great relief to the disquietude 
of my own heart, it may possibly contri- 
bute likewise to assuage the anguish of 
yours. In my return out of Asia, as I 
was sailing from JEgmn towards Mq- 
gara*, I amused myself with contem- 
plating the circumjacent countries. Be- 
hind me lay ^Egina, before me Megara ; 
on my right I saw Piraeus t, and on my 
left Corinth I . These cities, once so 
flourishing and magnificent, now pre- 

* yTF-giiia, now called Engia, is an island 
situated in the gulf that runs between the Pe- 
loponnesus and Attica, to which it gives its 
name. — Megara was a city near the isthmus 
of Corinth. 

f A celebrated sea-port at a small distance 
from Athens, now called Port Lion. 

:|: A city in the Peloponnesus. 

D 



34 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book L 



sented nothing to my view but a sad 
spectacle of desolation. " Alas," I said 
to myself, "^ shall such a short-lived crea- 
ture as man complain, when one of his 
species falls either by the hand of vio- 
lence, or by the common covu'se of na- 
ture : whilst in this narrow compass so 
many great and glorious cities, formed 
for a much longer duration, thus lie ex- 
tended in ruins ? Remember, then, oh my 
heart ! the general lot to wiiicli man is 
born, and let that thought suppress thy 
unreasonable murmurs." Believe me, 
I found ray mind greatly refreshed and 
comforted by these reflections. Let me 
advise you in tlie same manner to repre- 
sent to yourself what numbers of our 
illustrious countrymen have lately been 
cut oif at once * ; how much the strength 
of the Roman republic is impaired, and 
what dreadful devastation has gone forth 
throughout all its provinces ! And can 
you, with the impression of these greater 
calamities upon your mind, be so immo- 
derately afflicted for the loss of a single 
individual, a poor, little, tender woman ? 
who, if she had not died at this time, 
must in a few fleeting years more have 
inevitably undergone that common fate 
to which she was born. 

Reasonable, however, as these reflec- 
tions are, I would call you from them a 
while, in order to lead your thoughts to 
others more pecidiarly suitable to your 
circumstances and character. Remember 
then tliat your daughter lived as long as 
life was worth possessing, that is, till li- 
berty was no more : that she lived to see 
you in the illustrious oflices of prretor, 
consul, and augur; to be married to 
some of the noblest youths in Rome f ; 
to be blessed with almost every valuable 
enjoyment ; and at length to exnire with 
the republic itself. Tell me, now, what 
is there in this view of her fate that 
€Ould give either her or yourself Just rea- 
son to complain ? In fine, do not forget 
that you are Cicero, the wise, the philo- 
sophical Cicero, who were wont to give 
advice to others ; nor resemble those un- 
skilful empirics, who, at the same time 
that they pretend to be furnished with 
remedies for other men's disorders, arc 
altogether incapable of finding a cure 
for their own. On the contrary, apjdy 
to your private use those judicious pre- 

* In the civil wars. 

t To Piso, Crassipes, ami Dolabolla. 



cepts you have administered to the pub- 
lic. Time necessarily weakens the 
strongest impressions of sorrow ; but it 
would be a reproach to your character 
not to anticipate this its certain effect, 
by the force of your own good sense and 
judgment. If the dead retain any con- 
sciousness of what is here transacted, 
your daughter's affection, I am sure, was 
such, both to you and to all her relations, 
that she can by no means desire you 
should abandon yourself to this excess of 
grief. Restrain it, then, I conjure you, 
for her sake, and for the sake of the rest 
of your family and friends, who lament 
to see you thus afflicted. Restrain it, too, 
I beseech you, for the sake of your coun- 
try ; that whenever the opportunity shall 
serve, it may reap the benefit of your 
counsels and assistance. In short, since 
such is our fortune that we must neces- 
sarily submit to the present system of 
public affairs, suffer it not to be sus- 
pected, that it is not so much the death 
of your daughter, as the fate of the re- 
public, and the success of our victors, 
that you deplore. 

But it would be ill manners to dwell 
any longer upon this subject, as I should 
seem to question the efficacy of your 
own good sense. I will only add, there- 
fore, that as we have often seen you bear 
prosperity in the noblest manner, and 
with the highest applause, shew us like- 
wise that you are not too sensible of ad- 
versity, but know how to support it with 
the same advantage to your character. 
In a word, let it not be said, that forti- 
tude is the single virtue to which my 
friend is a stranger. 

As for what concerns myself, I will 
send you an account of the state of this 
l)rovince, and of what is transacting in 
this part of the world, as soon as I shall 
hear that you are sufficiently composed 
to receive the information. Farewell. 



LETTER LIII. 

To Servius Sulpicius. 

[A. U. 708.] 
I JOIN with you, my dear Sulpicius, in 
wishing that you had been in Rome when 
this most severe calamity befel me. I 
am sensible of the advantage I should 
have received from your presence, and I 
had almost said your equal participation 



Sect. 1. 



CICERO. 



35 



of my grief, by having found myself 
somewhat more composed after 1 had 
read your letter. It fiiniished me indeed 
witli arguments extremely proper to 
sooth the anguish of affliction ; and evi- 
dently flov/ed from a heart that sympa- 
thised with the sorrows it endeavoured to 
assuage. But although I could not en- 
joy the benefit of your own good offices 
in person, I had the advantage, however, 
of your son's, v/ho gave me a proof, by 
every tender assistance that could be con- 
tributed upon so melancholy an occasion, 
how much he imagined that he was act- 
ing agreeably to your sentiments, when 
he thus discovered the affection of his 
own. More pleasing instances of his 
friendship I have frequently received, 
but never any that were more obliging. 
As to those for which I am indebted to 
yourself, it is not only the force of your 
reasonings, and the very considerable 
share you take in my afflictions, that 
have contributed to compose my mind ; 
it is the deference, likevrise, which I al- 
ways pay to the authority of your senti- 
ments. For knowing, as I perfectly do, 
the superior wisdom with which you are 
enlightened, I should be ashamed not to 
support my distresses in the manner 
you think I ought. I will acknowledge, 
nevertheless, that they sometimes al- 
most entirely overcome me : and I am 
scarce able to resist the force of my 
grief when I reflect, that I am destitute 
of those consolations which attended 
others, whose examples I propose to my 
imitation. Thus Quintus Maximus lost 
a son of consular rank, and distinguished 
by many brave, and illustrious actions ; 
Lucius Paulus was deprived of two sons 
in the space of a single week ; and 
your relation Gallus, together with Mar- 
cus Cato, had both of them the unhap- 
piness to survive their respective sons, 
who were endowed with the highest 
abilities and \qrtues. Yet? these unfor- 
tunate parents lived in times when the 
honours they derived from the republic 
might in some measure alleviate the 
weight of their domestic misfortunes. 
But as for myself, after having been 
stripped of those dignities you mention, 
and which I had acquired by the most 
laborious exertion of my abilities, I had 
one only consolation remaining : and of 
that I am now bereaved, I could no 
longer divert the disquietude of my 



thoughts, by employing myself in the 
causes of my friends, or the business of 
the state : for I could no longer with any 
satisfaction appear either in the Forum 
or the Senate. In short, I justly con- 
sidered myself as cut off from the benefit 
of all those alleviating occupations in 
which fortune and industry had qualified 
me to engage. But I considered, too, 
that this was a deprivation which I suf- 
fered in common with yourself and 
some others : and whilst I was endea- 
vouring to reconcile my mind to a 
patient endurance of those ills, there was 
one to whose tender offices I could have 
recourse, and in the sweetness of whose 
conversation I could discharge all the 
cares and anxiety of my heart. But this 
last fatal stab to my peace has torn open 
those wounds, which seemed in some 
measure to have been tolerably healed. 
For I can now no longer lose my private 
sorrows in the prosperity of the common- 
wealth, as I was wont to dispel the imea= 
siness I suffered upon the public account, 
in the happiness I received at home. Ac- 
cordingly I have equally banished myself 
from my house*, and from the public ; 
as finding no relief in either, from the 
calamities I lament in both. It is this, 
therefore, that heightens my desire of 
seeing you here ; as nothing can afford 
me a more effectual consolation than the 
renewal of our friendly intercourse : a 
happiness which I hope, and am informed, 
indeed , that I shall shortly enj oy . Among 
the many reasons I have for impatiently 
wishing your arrival, one is, that we may 
previously concert together our scheme 
of conduct in the present conjuncture ; 
Avhich, however, must now be entirely 
accommodated to another's will. This 
person f, 'tis true, is a man of great abi- 
lities and generosity ; and one, if I mis- 
take not, who is by no means my enemy ; 
and I am sure he is extremely your friend. 
Nevertheless it requires much conside- 
ration, I do not say in wdiat manner we 
shall act with respect to public affairs, 
but by what methods we may best 
obtain his permission to retire from 
them. Farewell. 



5^- Cicero, upon the death of his daughter, 
retired from his own house, to one helongincc 
to Atticus, near Rome, from which, perh^p*!, 
this letter was Avritton, 



f Ca^sav, 



D 2 



36 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



LETTER LIV. 

To Lucius Lucceius. 

[A. U. 708.] 
All the letters I have received from 
you, upon the subject of my late misfor- 
tune, were extremely acceptable to me, 
as instances of the hig-Jiest affection and 
good sense. But the great advantage 
I have derived from them, principally 
results from the animating contempt 
with which you look down upon human 
affairs, and that exemplary fortitude 
which arms you against all the various 
assaults of fortune. I esteem it the most 
glorious privilege of philosophy to be 
thus superior to external accidents, and 
to depend for happiness on ourselves 
alone : a sentiment, which, although it 
was too deeply planted in my heart to be 
totally eradicated, has been somewhat 
weakened, I confess, by the violence of 
those repeated storms to which I have 
been lately exposed. But you have en- 
deavoured, and with great success in- 
deed, to restore it to all its usual strength 
and vigour. I cannot, therefore, either too 
often or too strongly assure you, that nor 
thing could give me a higher satisfac- 
tion than your letter. But powerful as 
the various arguments of consolation are 
which you have collected for my use, and 
elegantly as you have enforced them ; I 
must acknowledge, that nothing proved 
more effectual than that firmness of mind 
which I remarked in your letters, and 
which I should esteem as the utmost re- 
proach not to imitate. But if I imitate 
I must necessarily excel my guide and in- 
structor in this lesson of fortitude : for I 
am altogether unsupported by the same 
hopes which I find you entertain, that 
public affairs will improve. Those il- 
lustrations indeed which you draw from 
the gladiatorial combats, together with 
the whole tendency of your reasoning in 
general, all concur in forbidding me to 
despair of the commonwealth. It would 
be nothing extraordinary, therefore, if 
you should be more composed than my- 
self, whilst you are in possession of these 
pleasing hopes : the only wonder is, how 
you can possibly entertain any. P'or say, 
my friend, what is there of our constitu- 
tion that is not utterly subverted ? Look 
round the republic and tell me (you who 
80 well understand the nature of our go- 
vernment) what part of it remains un- 



broken or unimpaired ? Most unquestion- 
ably there is not one, as I would prove 
in detail, if I imagined my own discern- 
ment was superior to yours, or were ca- 
pable (notwithstanding all your powerful 
admonitions and precepts) to dwell upon 
so melancholy a subject without being 
extremely affected. But I will bear my 
domestic misfortunes in the manner you 
assure me that I ought ; and as to those 
of the public, I shall support them, per- 
haps, with greater equanimity than even 
my friend. For (to repeat it again) 
you are not, it seems, v/ithout some sort 
of hopes ; whereas for myself, I have 
absolutely nxjne, and shall, therefore, in 
pursuance of your advice, preserve my 
spirits even in the midst of despair. The 
pleasing recollection of those actions you 
recal to my remembrance, and which, 
indeed, I performed chiefly by your en- 
couragement and recommendation, will 
greatly contribute to this end. To say 
the truth, I have done every thing for the 
service of my country that I ought, and 
more than could have been expected from 
the courage and counsels of any man. 
You will pardon me, I hope, for speak- 
ing in this advantageous manner of my 
own conduct : but as you advise me to 
alleviate my present uneasiness by a re- 
trospect of my past actions, I will con- 
fess, that in thus commemorating them 
I find great consolation. 

I shall punctually observe your admo- 
nitions, by calling off my mind as much 
as possible from every thing that may 
disturb its peace, and fixing it on those 
speculations which are at once an orna- 
ment to prosperity and the support of 
adversity. For this purpose I shall en- 
deavour to spend as much of my time 
with you, as our health and years will 
mutually permit : and if v/e cannot meet 
so often as I am sure we both wish, we 
shall always at least seem present to each 
other by a sympathy of hearts, and an 
union in the same philosophical contem- 
plations. Farewell. 

LETTER LV. 

Lucceius to Cicero* 

[A. U. 708.] 
I SHALL rejoice to hear that you are 
well. As to my own health, it is much 
as usual; or rather, I think, somewhat 
worse. 



Sect. 1. 



CICERO. 



37 



I have frequently called at your door, 
and am much surprised to find that you 
have not been in Rome since Ceesar left 
it. Wliat is it that so strongly draws 
you fi'om hence ? If any of your usual 
engagements of the literary kind renders 
you thus enamoured of solitude, I am 
so far from condemning your retii-ement 
that I think of it with pleasure. There 
is no sort of life indeed that can be more 
agreeable, not only in times so disturbed 
as the present, but even in those of the 
most desirable calm and serenity ; espe- 
cially to a mind like yours, which may 
have occasion for repose from its public 
labours, and which is always capable of 
producing something that will afford both 
pleasiu-e to others and honour to youi'self. 
But if you have withdravvn from the 
world, in order to give a free vent to 
those tears which you so immoderately 
indulged when you were here, I shall la- 
ment indeed your grief ; but (if you will 
allow me to speak the truth) I never can 
excuse it. For tell me, my friend, is it 
possible that a man of your uncommon 
discernment should not perceive what is 
obvious to all mankind ? Is it possible 
you can be ignorant that your perpetual 
complaints can profit nothing, and only 
serve to increase those disquietudes which 
your good sense requires you to subdue ? 
But if argLunents cannot prevail, intrea- 
ties perhaps may. Let me conjure you, 
then, by all the regard you bear me, to 
dispel this gloom that hangs upon your 
heart ; to return to that society and to 
those occupations which were either 
common to us both, or peculiar to your- 
self. But though I would fain dissuade 
you from continuing your present way 
of life, yet I would by no means suffei 
my zeal to be troublesome. In the diffi- 
culty therefore of steering between these 
two inclinations, I will only add my 
request, that you would either comply 
with my advice, or excuse me for offer^ 
ing it. Farewell. 

LETTER LVI. 

To Lucius Lucceius. 

[A. U. 70S.] 
Every part of your last letter glowed 
with that warmth of friendship, which, 
though it was by no means new to me, I 
could not but observe with peculiar satis- 
faction ; I would Shyplccmae, if that were 
not a word to which I have now for ever 



bidden adieu ; not merely, however, for 
the cause you suspect, and for which, 
under the gentlest and most affectionate 
terms, you in fact very severely reproach 
me ; but because all that ought in reason 
to assuage the anguish of so deep a wound , 
is absolutely no more. For whither shall 
I fly for consolation? Is it to the bo- 
som of my friends ? But tell me (for 
we have generally shared the same com- 
mon amities together), how few of that 
number are remaining? how few that 
have not perished by the sword, or that 
are not become strangely insensible ? You 
will say, perhaps, that I might seek my 
relief in your society ; and there indeed I 
would willingly seek it. The same ha- 
bitudes and studies, a long intercourse of 
friend sliip — in short, is there any sort of 
bond, any single circumstance of connec- 
tion wanting to unite us together ? Why 
then are we such strangers to one ano- 
ther ? For my own part, I know not : 
but this I know, that we have hitherto 
seldom met, I do not say in Rome, where 
the Forum usually brings every body 
together^, but w^hen we were near 
neighbours at Tusculum and Puteolse. 

I know not by what ill fate it has 
happened, that at an age when I might 
expect to flourish in the greatest credit 
and dignity, I should find myself in so 
wretched a situation as to be ashamed 
that I am still in being. Despoiled indeed 
of every honour and every comfort that 
adorned my public life, or smoothed my 
private ; vrhat is it that can now afford 
me any refuge ? My books, I imagine you 
will tell me ; and to these indeed I very 
assiduously apply. For to wliat else can I 
possibly have recourse ? Yet even these 
seem to exclude me from that peaceful 
port which I fain would reach, and re- 
proach me, as it were, for prolonging 
that life which only increases my sorrows 
with my years. Can you wonder, then, 
that I absent myself from Rome, where 
there is nothing under my own roof to 
afford me any satisfaction, and where I 
abhor both public men and public mea- 
sures, both the Forum and the Senate ? 
For this reason it is that I wear away my 
days in a total application to literary pur- 

* The Forum was a place of general resort for 
the whole city. It was here that tlie lawyers 
pleaded their causes, that the poets recited their 
works, and that funeral orations were spoken 
in honour of the dead. It was here, in short, 
every thing was going forward that could en- 
gage the active or amuse the idle. 



38 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



suits ; not indeed as entertammg so vain 
a hope, that 1 may find in tliem a com- 
plete cure for my misfortunes, hut in or- 
der to obtain at least some little respite 
from their bitter remembrance. 

If those dangers, with v/hich we were 
daily menaced, had not formerly pre- 
vented both you and myself from re- 
flecting with that coolness we ought, we 
sliould never have been thus separated. 
Had that proved to have been the case, 
we should both of us have spared our- 
selves much uneasiness ; as I should not 
have indulged so many groundless fears 
for your health, nor you for the conse- 
quences of my grief. Let us repair 
then this unlucky mistake as well as we 
may : and as nothing can be more suit- 
able to both of us than the company of 
each other, I purpose to be with you in 
a few days. Farewell. 

LETTER LVIL 

To Tiro- 

[A. U. 708.] 
Eelieve me, my dear Tiro, I am greatly 
anxious for your health : however, if 
you persevere in the same cautious 
regimen which you have hitherto ob- 
served, you will soon, I trust, be well. 
As to my library, I beg you would put 
the books in order, and take a catalogue 
of them, when your physician shall give 
you his consent : for it is by his direc- 
tions you must novv^ be governed. With 
respect to the garden, I leave you to 
adjust matters as you shall judge pro- 
j)cr. 

I think you might come to Rome on 
the first of next month, in order to see 
tbe gladiatorial combats, and return the 
following day : but let this be entirely as 
is most agreeable to your own inclina- 
tions. In the mean time, if you have 
any affection for me, take care of your 
lualth. Farewell. 



LETTER LVllL 

To the sa??ie. 

[A. U. 708.] 
Wiiv should you not direct your letters 
to uk; with the familiar superscription 
which one friend generally uses to ano- 
iluH- ? llowcvei-, if you are unwilling to 
hazard the envy which this privilege 
may draw upon you, be it as you think 
l)roper; though lor my own part it is 



a inaKim v/hich I have generally pur-' 
sued with respect to myself, to treat 
envy with the utmost disregard. 

1 rejoice that you found so much bene- 
fit by your sudorific ; and should the air 
of Tusculum be attended with the same 
happy effect, how infinitely will it in- 
crease my fondness for that favourite 
scene ! If you love me then (and if you 
do not, you are undoubtedly the most 
successful of all dissemblers), consecrate 
your whole time to the care of your 
liealtli ; which hitherto indeed your as« 
siduous attendance upon myself has but 
too much prevented. You well know 
the rules which it is necessary you should 
observe for this purpose ; and 1 need not 
tell you that your diet should be light, 
and your exercises moderate : that you 
should keep your body open, «and your 
mind amused. Ee it your care, in short, 
to return to me perfectly recovered : and 
I shall ever aftervi'^ards not only love 
you, but Tusculum so much the more 
ardently. 

I vt'isli you could prevail with your 
neighbour to take my garden, as it will 
be the most effectual means of vexing 
that rascal Helico. TJiis fellow, although 
he paid a thousand sesterces* for the 
rent of a piece of cold barren ground, 
that had not so much as a walFor a shed 
upon it, or was supplied with a single 
drop of water, has yet the assurance to 
laugh at the price I require for mine ; 
notwithstanding all the money I have 
laid out upon the improvements. But 
let it be your business to spirit the man 
into our terms ; as it shall be mine to 
make the same artful attack upon Otho. 

Let me know what you have done 
with respect to the fountain ; though 
possibly this wet season may now have 
oversupplied it with water. If the wea- 
ther should prove fair, I will send the 
dial, together with the books you desire. 
But how happened it that you took none 
with you? Was it that you were em- 
ployed in some poetical composition 
upon the model of your admired So- 
phocles? If so, 1 hope you Avill soon 
oblige the world with your performance. 

Ligurius, Ccesar's great favourite, is 
dead. He was a very worthy man, and 
much my friend. Let me know when I 
may expect you : in the mean time be 
careful of your health. Farewell. 

* About 8/. of our money. 



BOOK THE FIRST. 



ANCIENT AND CLASSICAL. 



SECTION 11. 



FROM THE LETTERS OF PLINY THE CONSUL*, TO SEVERAL OF HIS FRIENDS, 
AS TRANSLATED BY WILLIAM MELMOTH, ESQ. 



LETTER I. 

To Caninius Rufus. 

How stands Comiimt, tliat favourite 
scene of yours and mine ? What becomes 
of the pleasant villa, the vernal portico, 
the shady planetree walk, the crystal 
canal so agreeably winding- along- its 

* Pliny was born in the reign of Nero, about 
the eight hundred and fifteenth year of Rome, 
and the sixty-second of the Christian aera. 
As to the time of his death antiquity has given 
us no information ; but it is conjectured that 
he died either a little before, or soon after, 
that excellent prince, his admired Trajan ; 
that is, about the year of Christ one hundred 
and sixteen. 

The elegance of this author's manner adds 
force to the most interesting, at the same time 
that it enlivens the most common subjects. 
But the polite and spirited turn of these let- 
ters is by no means their principal recom- 
mendation : they receive a much higher value, 
as they exhibit one of the most amiable and 
animating characters in all antiquity. Pliny's 
whole life seems to have been employed in the 
exercise of every generous and social affection. 
To forward modest merit, to encourage in- 
genious talents, to vindicate oppressed inno- 
cence, are some of the glorious purposes to 
which he devoted his power, his fortune, and 
his abilities. But how does he rise in our 
esteem and admiration, when we see him exer- 
cising (with a grace that discovers his huma- 
nity as well as his politeness) the noblest acts 
both of public and private munificence, not 
so much from the abundance of his wealth, as 
the wisdom of his oeconomy ! 

f The city where Pliny was born : it still 
subsists, and is now called Como. situated 
upon the lake Larius, or Lago di Como, in 
the dachv of Milan, 



flowery banks, together with the charm- 
ing lake X below, that serves at once the 
purposes of use and beauty ? What have 
you to tell me of the firm yet soft ges- 
tatio §, the sunny bath, the public saloon, 
the private dining-room, and all the ele- 
gant apartments for repose both at noon 
and night 1 1 ? Do these enjoy my friend, 
and divide his .time with pleasing vicis- 
situde ? Or do the affairs of the world, 
as usual, call you frequently out from 
this agreeable retreat ? If the scene of 
your enjoyment lies vdioily there, you 
are happy ; if not, you are under the 
common error of mankind. But leave, 
my friend (for certainly it is high time), 
the sordid pursuits of life to others, and 
devote yourself, in this calm and undis- 
turbed recess, entirely to pleasures of 
the studious kind. Let these employ 
your idle as well as serious hours ; let 
them be at once your business and your 
amusement, the subjects of your waking 
and even sleeping thoughts : produce 
something that shall be really and for 
ever your own. All your other posses- 
sions will pass on from one master to 
another : this alone, when once it is 



X The lake Larius, upon the banks of which 
this villa was situated. 

§ A piece of ground set apart for the purpose 
of exercise, either on horseback, or in their ve- 
hicles; it was generally contiguous to their 
gardens, and laid out in the form of a circus. 

II It was customary among the Romans to 
sleep in the middle of the day, and they had 
apavtmcuts for that purpose distinct from 
their bed-chambers. 



40 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



yours, Avill for ever be so. As I well 
know the temper and genius of him to 
whom I am addressing myself, 1 must 
exhort you to think as well of your 
abilities as they deserve : do justice to 
those excellent talents you possess, and 
the world, believe me, will certainly do 
so too. Farewell. 

LETTER IL 

To Pcmpeia Cderina. 

You might perceive, by my last short 
letter, I had no occasion of yours to in- 
form me of the various conveniences 
you enjoy at your several villas. The 
elegant accommodations which are to be 
found at Narnia^, Ocriculumf, Car- 
sola |, Perusia§, particularly the pretty 
bath at Narnia, I am extremely well ac- 
quainted with. The truth is, I have a 
property in every thing which belongs to 
you ; and I know of no other difference 
between your house and my own, than 
that I am more carefully attended in the 
former than the latter. You may, per- 
haps, have occasion to make the same 
observation in your turn, whenever you 
shall give me your company here, which 
I wish for, not only that you may par- 
take of mine with the same ease and free- 
dom that I do of yours, but to awaken 
the industry of my domestics, who are 
grown something careless in their attend- 
ance upon me. A long course of mild 
treatment is apt to wear out the impres- 
sions of awe in servants ; whereas new 
faces quicken their diligence, as they 
are generally more inclined to please 
their master by attention to his guest, 
than to himself. Farewell. 

LETTER III. 

To Cornelius Tacitus. 

Ceiitainly you will laugh (and laugh 
you may) when I tell you that your old 
acquaintance is turned sportsman, and 
has taken three noble boars. What ! 
(methinks I hear you say with astonish- 
ment) Pliny ! — Even he. However, I 
indulged at the same time my beloved 

* Now called Narni, a city in Ombria, in 
the duchy of Spoleto. 

f Otricoli, in the same duchy. 

X Carsola, in the same ducliy, 

§ Perugia, in Tuscany. 



inactivity, and while I sat at my nets, 
you would have found me, not with my 
spear, but my pen by my side. I mused 
and wrote, being resolved, if I returned 
with my hands empty, at least to come 
home with my papers full. Believe me, 
this manner of studying is not to be 
despised : you cannot conceive how 
greatly exercise contributes to enliven 
the imagination. There is, besides, 
something in the solemnity of the vene- 
rable woods with which one is sur- 
rounded, together with that awful si- 
lence |j which is observed on these occa- 
sions, that strongly inclines the mind 
to meditation. For the future, therefore, 
let me advise you, whenever you hunt, to 
take along with you your pen and paper, 
as well as your basket and bottle ; for be 
assured you will find Minerva as fond of 
traversing the hills as Diana. Farewell. 

LETTER IV. 

To Minutius Fundanus, 

When one considers how the time passes 
at Rome, one cannot but be surprised 
that take any single day, and it either 
is, or at least seems to be, spent reason- 
ably enough ; and yet upon casting up 
the whole sum, the amount will appear 
quite otherwise. Ask any one how he 
has been employed to-day ? he mil tell 
you, perhaps, " I have been at the cere- 
mony of taking up the ?nanli/ robe^ ; 
this friend invited me to a wedding ; 
that desired me to attend the hearing 
of his cause : one begged me to be wit- 
ness to his will ; another called me to 
consultation." These are offices which 
seem, while one is engaged in them, ex- 
tremely necessary; and yet when, in 
the quiet of some retirement, we look 
back upon the many hours thus employed, 
we cannot but condemn them as solemn 

II By the circumstance of silence here men- 
tioned, as well as by the whole air of this let- 
ter, it is plain the hunting here recommended 
was of a very different kind from what is prac- 
tised amongst us. It is probable the wild 
boars were allured into their nets by some 
kind of prey, with which they were baited, 
while the sportsman watched at a distance in 
silence and concealment. 

^ The Roman youths at the age of seven- 
teen changed their habit, and took up the 
toga virilis, or manly gown, upon which occa- 
sion they were conducted by the friends of the 
family with great ceremony either into the 
Forum or Capitol, and there invested with this 
new robe. 



Sect. II. 



PLINY. 



41 



impertinences. At such a season one is 
apt to reflect, How much of my life has 
been lost in trifles ! At least it is a re- 
flection which frequently comes across 
me at Laurentum, after I have been em- 
ploying- myself in my studies, or even 
in the necessary care of the animal ma- 
chine (for the body must be repaired 
and supported^ if we would preserve the 
mind in all its vigour). In that peace- 
ful retreat I neither hear nor speak any 
thing of which I have occasion to repent. 
I suffer none to repeat to me the whispers 
of malice ; nor do I censure any man, 
unless myself, when I am dissatisfied 
with my compositions. There I live un- 
disturbed by rumour, and free from the 
anxious solicitudes of hope or fear, con- 
versing- only with myself and my books. 
True and genuine life ! Pleasing and ho- 
nourable repose ! More, perhaps, to be 
desired than the noblest employments ! 
Thou solemn sea and solitary shore, best 
and most retired scene for contemplation, 
with how many noble thoughts have you 
inspired me ! Snatch, then, my friend, as 
I have, the first occasion of leaving the 
noisy town, with all its very empty pur- 
suits, and devote your days to study, or 
even resign them to ease ; for, as my in- 
genious friend Attilius pleasantly said, 
" It is better to do nothing, than to be 
doing of nothing.'" FarcAvell. 



LETTER V. 

To Atrius Clemens. 

If ever polite literature flourished at 
Rome, it certainly does now, of which 
I could give you many eminent in- 
stances ; I mil content myself, however, 
with naming only Euphrates the philo- 
sopher. I first made Acquaintance with 
this excellent person in my youth, when 
I served in the army in Syria. I had an 
opportunity of conversing with him fa- 
miliarly, and took some pains to gain his 
affection ; though that indeed was no- 
thing difficult, for he is exceedingly open 
to access, and full of that humanity 
which he professes. I should think my- 
self extremely happy if I had as much 
answered the expectations he at that time 
conceived of me, as he exceeds every 
thing that I had imagined of him. But 
perhaps I admire his excellencies more 



now than I did then, because I under- 
stand them better ; if I can with truth 
say I understand them yet. For as none 
but those who are skilled in painting, 
statuary, or the plastic art, can form a 
right judgment of any performance in 
those sciences ; so a man must himself 
have made great advances in learning, 
before he is capable of forming a just 
notion of the learned. However, as far 
as I am qualified to determine, Euphrates 
is possessed of so many shining talents, 
that he cannot fail to strike the most 
injudicious observer. He reasons with 
much force, penetration, and elegance, 
and frequently launches out in'o all the 
sublime and luxuriant eloquence of 
Plato. His style is rich and flowing, , 
and at the same time so wonderfully 
sweet, that with a pleasing violence he 
forces the attention of the most unwilling 
hearer. His outward appearance is 
agreeable to all the rest x he has a good 
shape, a comely aspect, long hair, and a. 
large white beard ; circumstances which, 
though they may probably be thought 
trifling and accidental, contribute how- 
ever to gain him much reverence. There 
is no affected negligence in his habit ; 
his countenance is grave, but not austere ; 
and his approach commands respect 
without creating awe. Distinguished as 
he is by the sanctity of his manners, he 
is no less so by his polite and affable ad- 
dress. He points his eloquence against 
the vices, not the persons of mankind, 
and without chastising reclaims the 
wanderer. His exhortations so captivate 
your attention, that you hang as it were 
upon his lips ; and even after the heart 
is convinced, the ear still wishes to listen 
to the harmonious reasoner. His family 
consists of three children (two of which 
are sons), whom he educates with the 
utmost care. His father-in-law, Pompeius 
Julianus, as he gi-eatly distinguished him- 
self in every other part of his life, so 
particularly in this, that though he was 
himself of the highest rank in his pro- 
vince, yet among many considerable 
competitors for his daughter, he pre- 
ferred Euphrates, as first in merit, though 
not in dignity. But to dwell any longer 
upon the virtues of a man, whose con- 
versation I am so unfortunate as not to 
have leisure to enjoy, what Avould it avail 
but to increase my uneasiness that 1 can- 
not enjoy it ? ]My time is Svholly taken 
up in the execution of a very honourable^ 



42 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book L 



indeed, l)ut very troublesome employ- 
ment ; in licaring of causes, answering 
petitions, passing accounts, and v/riting 
of letters: but letters, alas! where genius 
has no share. I sometimes complain to 
Euphrates (for I have leisure at least for 
that) of these unpleasing occupations. 
He endeavours to comfort me, by atlirm- 
ing, tliat to be engaged in the service of 
the public, to hear and determine causes, 
to explain the laws, and administer jus- 
tice, is a part, and the noblest part too, 
of philosophy, as it is reducing to prac- 
tice what her professors teach in specu- 
lation. It may be so : but that it is as 
agreeable as to spend whole days in at- 
tending to his useful conversation — even 
this rhetoric will never be able to con- 
vince me. I cannot therefore but strong- 
ly recommend it to you, who have lei- 
sure, the next time you come to Rome 
(and you will come, I dare say, so much 
the sooner) to take the benefit of his ele- 
gant and refined instructions. I am not, 
you see, in the number of those who envy 
others the happiness they cannot share 
themselves : on the contrary, it is a very 
sensible pleasure to me, when I find my 
friends in possession of an enjoyment 
from which I have the misfortune to be 
excluded. Farev/ell. 

LETTER VL 

To Calestrius Tiro. 

I HAVE suffered a most sensible loss ; if 
that word is strong enough to express 
the misfortune which has deprived me of 
so excellent a man. Cornelius Rufus is 
dead ! and dead too by his own act ! a 
circumstance of great aggravation to my 
afliiction ; as that sort of death which we 
cannot impute either to the course of na- 
ture, or the hand of Providence, is of all 
otherh the most to be lamented. It af- 
fords some consolation in the loss of 
those friends whom disease snatches from 
us, that they fall by the general fate of 
mankind : but those, who destroy them- 
/selves, leave us under the inconsolable 
reflection that they had it in their power 
to have lived longer. ^Tis true, Corne- 
lius had many inducements to be fond of 
life ; a blameU^ss conscien(;c, high rejRi- 
tation, and great dignity, together with 
ail the tender endearments of a \vife, a 
daughter, a i>randson, and sisters ; and 
amidtjt thcye considerable j)leflges of haj)- 



piness, many and faithful friends. Still 
it must be owned he had the highest 
reason (which to a wise man will always 
have the force of the strongest obliga- 
tion) to determine him in this resolution. 
He had long laboured under so tedious 
and painful a distemper, that even these 
blessings, great and valuable as they are, 
could not balance the evils he suffered. 
In his thirty-third year (as I Iiave fre- 
quently heard him say) he was seized 
with the gout in his feet. This he re- 
ceived from his father ; for diseases, as 
well as possessions, are sometimes trans- 
mitted by a kind of inheritance. A life 
of abstinence and virtue had something 
broke the force of this distemper while 
he had strength and youth to struggle 
with it ; as a manly courage supported 
him under the increasing weight of it in 
his old age. I remember in the reigrji 
of Domitian, I made him a visit at his 
villa near Rome, where I found him 
under the most incredible and unde- 
served tortures ; for the gout was now 
not only in his feet, but had spread itself 
over his whole body. As soon as I en- 
tered his chamber, his servants with- 
drew : for it was his constant rule never 
to suffer them to be present when any 
very intimate friend was with him : he 
even carried it so far as to dismiss his 
wife upon such occasions, though wor- 
thy of the highest confidence. Looking 
round about him, Do you know (says 
he) why I endure life under these cruel 
agonies ? It is with the hope that I may 
outlive, at least for one day, that vil- 
lain^. And O ! ye Gods, had you given 
me strength, as you have given me re 
solution, I would infallibly have that 
pleasure ! Heaven heard his prayer, 
and having survived that tyrant, and 
lived to see liberty restored, he broke 
through those great, but however now 
less forcible attachments to the world, 
since he could leave it in possession of 
security and freedom. His distemper in- 
creased ; and as it now grew too violent 
to admit of any relief from temperance, 
he resolutely determined to put an end 
to its uninterrupted attacks by an effort of 
heroism. He had refused all sustenance 
for four days, when his wife HispuUa 
sent to me our common friend Gfeminius, 
with the melancholy news that he was 
resolved to die ; and that she and her 

^' Domitian. 



Sect. II. 



PLINY. 



43 



daughter having in vain joined in their 
most tender persuasions to divert liim 
from his purpose, the only hope they 
had now left was in my endeavours to 
reconcile him to life. I ran to his house 
with the utmost precipitation. As I ap- 
proached it, I met a second messenger 
from Hispulla, who informed me there 
was nothing to he hoped for, even from 
me, as he now seemed more inflexible 
than ever in his resolution. What con- 
firmed their fears was an expression he 
made use of to his physician, who pressed 
him to take some nourishment: " 'Tis 
resolved," said he : an expression which, 
as it raised my admiration of his great- 
ness of soul, so it does my grief for the 
loss of him. I am every moment re- 
flecting wliat a valuable friend, what an 
excellent man I am deprived of. That 
he was arrived to his sixty-seventh year, 
which is an age even the strongest sel- 
dom exceed, I well know : that he is de- 
livered from a life of continual pain ; that 
he left his family and (what he loved even 
more) his country in a flourishing state ; 
all this I know. Still I cannot forbear 
to weep for him, as if he had been in the 
prime and vigour of his days ; and 1 
weep. (shall 1 own my weakness?) upon 
a private account. For I have lost, oh ! 
my friend, I have lost the witness, the 
guide, and the director of my life ! 
And to confess to you what I did to Cal- 
visius in the first transport of my grief, 
I sadly fear, nov/ that 1 am no longer 
under his eye, I shall not keep so strict 
a guard over my conduct. Speak com- 
fort to me, therefore, I intreat you ; not 
by telling me that he was old, that he was 
infirm ; all this I know ; but by supply- 
ing me with some arguments that are 
uncommon and resistless, that neither 
the commerce of the world, nor the pre- 
cepts of the philosophers, can teach me. 
For all that I have heard, and all that I 
have read, occur to me of themselves ; 
but all these are by far too weak to 
support me under so heavy an aifiiction. 
Farewell. 

LETTER VII. 

To Junius Mauricus. 

You desii*e me to look out a husband for 
your niece ; and it is with justice you 
enjoin me that oflice. You were a wit- 
ness to the esteem and affection I bore 



that great man her father, and with 
what noble instructions he formed my 
youth, and taught me to deserve those 
praises he was pleased to bestow upon 
me. You could not give me then a 
more important, or more agreeable com- 
mission ; nor could I be employed in an 
office of higher honour, than of choosing 
a young man worthy of continuing the 
family of Rusticus Arulenus ! a choice 
I should be long in determining if I 
were not acquainted with Miiuitius ^mi- 
lianus, who seems formed for our pur- 
pose. While he loves me with that 
warmth of affection which is usual be- 
tween young men of equal years (as in- 
deed I have the advance of him bat by 
a very few), he reveres me at the same 
time with all the deference due to age ; 
and is as desirous to model himself by 
my instructions, as I was by those of 
yourself and your brother. He is a na- 
tive of Brixia*, one of those provinces 
in Italy which still retains much of the 
frugal simplicity and purity of ancient 
manners. He is son to Minutius Macri- 
nus, whose humble desires were satis- 
fied with being first in rank of the 
Equestrian order ; for though he was 
nominated by Vespasian in the number 
of those whom that prince dignified with 
the Praetorian honours, yet with a de- 
termined greatness of mind, he rather 
preferred an elegant repose, to the am- 
bitious, shall I call them, or honourable 
pursuits in which we in public life are 
engaged. His grandmother on the mo- 
ther's side is Serrana Procula, of Padua : 
you are no stranger to the manners of 
that place ; yet Serrana is looked upon, 
even among these reserved people, as 
an exemplary instance of strict virtue. 
Acilius, his uncle, is a man of singular 
gravity, wisdom, and integrity. In a 
word, you will find nothing throughout 
his family unworthy of yours. Minutius 
himself has great vivacity, as weU as ap- 
plication, joined at the same time with a 
most amiable and becoming modesty. 
He has already, with much credit, passed 
through the offices of Qutestor, Tribune, 
and Praetor, so that you will be spared 
the trouble of soliciting for him those 
honourable employments. He has a gen- 
teel and ruddy countenance, with a cer- 
tain noble mien that speaks the man of 



X A town iu the tenitorics of Venice, now 
called Brescia. 



44 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



distinction ; advantages, I think, by no 
means to be slighted, and which I look 
upon as the proper tribute to virgin inno- 
cence. I am doubtful whether I should 
add, that his father is very rich. When 
I consider the character of those who re- 
quire a husband of my choosing, I know 
it is unnecessary to mention wealth ; but 
when 1 reflect upon the prevailing man- 
ners of the age, and even the laws of 
Rome, which rank a man according to 
his possessions, it certainly claims some 
notice ; and indeed in establishments of 
this nature, where children and many 
other circumstances are to be considered, 
it is an article that well deserves to be 
taken into the account. You will be in- 
clined perhaps to suspect, that affection 
has had too great a share in the character 
I have been drawing, and that I have 
heightened it beyond the truth. But I 
will stake all my credit, you will find 
every thing far beyond what I have re- 
presented. I confess, indeed, I love Mi- 
nutius (as he justly deserves) with all 
tlie warmth of the most ardent affection ; 
but for that very reason 1 would not 
ascribe more to his merit, than I know 
it will support. Farewell. 

LETTER VIIL 

To Septitius Clarus. 

How happened it, my friend, that you 
did not keep your engagement the other 
night to sup witli me ? But take notice, 
justice is to be had, and I expect' you 
shall fully reimburse me the expense I 
was at to treat you ; which, let me tell 
you, was no small sum. I had prepared, 
you must know, a lettuce a-piece, three 
snails*, two eggs, and a barley cake, 
with some sweet wine and snow f ; the 

* A dish of snails was very common at a 
Roman table. The manner used to fatten 
them is related by some very grave authors 
of antiquity; and Pliny the Elder mentions 
one Fulvius Hirpinus, who had studied that art 
with so much success, that the shells of some 
of his snails would contain about ten quarts. 
In some parts of Switzerland this food is still 
in high repute. 

f The Romans used snow not only to cool 
their liquors, but their stomachs, after having 
inflamed themselves witii high eating. This 
custom still prevails in Italy, especially in 
Naples, where tliey drink very few liquors,' not 
so much as water, that hav(; not lain in fresco, 
and everybody from the hi u best to the lowest 
n)akcs use of it: insomuch that a scarcity of 



snow most certainly I shall charge to 
your account, as a rarity that will not 
keep. Besides all these curious dishes, 
there were olives of Andalusia, gourds, 
shalots, and a hundred other dainties 
equally sum.ptuous. You should like- 
wise have been entertained either with 
an interlude, the rehearsal of a poem, or 
a piece of music, as you liked best ; or 
(such was my liberality) with all three. 
But the luxurious delicacies :j: and Spa- 
nish dancers of a certain 1 know not 

who, v«'ere it seems more to your taste. 
However, 1 shall have my revenge of you, 
depend upon it — in v/hat manner, shall 
be at present a secret. In good truth it 
was not kind thus to mortify your friend, 
I had almost said yourself; — and upon 
second thoughts I do say so : for how 
agreeably should we have spent the even- 
ing, in laughing, trifling, and deep specu- 
lation ! You may sup, 1 confess, at many 
places more splendidly ; but you can be 
treated nowhere, believe me, with more 
unconstrained cheerfulness, simplicity, 
and freedom : only make the experiment : 
and if you do not ever afterwards prefer 
my table to any other, never favour me 
with your company again. Farewell. 

LETTER IX. 

To Erucius, 

1 CONCEIVED an affection for my friend 
Pompeius Saturnius, and admired his 
genius, even long before I knew the ex- 
tensive variety of his talents : but he 
has now taken full and unreserved pos- 
session of my whole heart. 1 have heard 
him in the unpremeditated, as well as 
studied speech, plead with no less warmth 
and energy, than grace and eloquence. 
He abounds with just reflections ; his 
periods are graceful and majestic ; his 
words harmonious, and stamped with 

snow would raise a mutiny at Naples, as much 
as a dearth of corn or provisions in another 
country. 

X In the original the dishes are specified, viz. 
oysters, the matrices of sows, and a certain 
sea shell-fish, prickly like a hedge-ho?, called 
echinus, all in the highest estimation among 
the Koman admirers of table luxury ; as aj)- 
pears by numberless passages in the classic 
writers. Our own country had the honour to 
furnish them with oysters, which they fetched 
from Sandwich: Montanus, mentioned by Ju- 
venal, was so well skilled in the science of 
good eating, that he could tell by the first taste 
whether they came from thence or not. 



Sect. II. 



PLINY. 



45 



the authority of genuine antiquity. These 
united qualities infinitely delight you, not 
only when you are carried along, if I 
may so say, with the resistless flow of his 
charming and emphatical elocution ; but 
when considered distinct and apart from 
the advantage. 1 am persuaded you will 
he of this opinion when you peruse his 
orations, and will not hesitate to place 
him in the same rank with the ancients, 
whom he so happily imitates. But you 
will view him with still higher pleasure 
in the character of an historian, where his 
style is at once concise and clear, smooth 
and sublime ; and the same energy of 
expression, though with more closeness, 
runs through his harangues, which so 
eminently distinguishes and adorns his 
pleadings. But these are not all his ex- 
cellencies ; he has composed several 
poetical pieces in the manner of my fa- 
vourite Calvus and Catullus. What 
strokes of wit, what sweetness of num- 
bers, what pointed satire, and what 
touches of the tender passion appear in 
his verses ! in the midst of which he 
sometimes designedly falls into an agree- 
able negligence in his metre, in imitation 
too of those admired poets. He read to 
me, the other day, some letters which he 
assured me were wrote by his wife. I 
fancied I was hearing Plautus or Terence 
in prose. If they were that lady's (as he 
positively affirms), or his own (which he 
absolutely denies), either way he deserves 
equal applause ; whether for writing so 
politely himself, or for having so highly 
improved and refined the genius of his 
wife, whom he married young and unin- 
structed. His works are never out of my 
hands ; and whether I sit down to write 
any thing myself, or to revise what I 
have already wrote, or am in a disposition 
to amuse myself, I constantly take up 
this agreeable author ; and as often as I 
do so, he is still new. Let me strongly 
recommend him to the same degree of 
intimacy with you ; nor be it any pre- 
judice to his merit that he is a cotempo- 
rary writer. Had he flourished in some 
distant age, not only his works, but the 
very pictures and statues of him, would 
have been passionately inquired after ; 
and shall we then, from a sort of satiety, 
and merely because he is present among 
us, suffer his talents to languish and fade 
away unhonoured and unadmired? It 
is surely a very perverse and envious dis- 



position, to look with indifference upon 
a man worthy of the highest approbation 
for no other reason but because we have 
it in our power to see him and to con- 
verse with him, and not only to give 
him our applause, but to receive him 
into our friendship. Farewell. 



LETTER X. 

To Cornelius Tacitus. 

I HAVE frequent debates with a learned 
and judicious person of my acquaint- 
ance, who admires nothing so much in 
the eloquence of the bar as conciseness. 
I agree with him, where the cause will 
admit of this manner, it may be properly 
enough pursued ; but to insist, that to 
omit what is material to be mentioned, 
or only slightly to touch upon those 
points which should be strongly incul- 
cated, and urged home to the minds of 
the audience, is in effect to desert the 
cause one has undertaken. In many cases 
a copious manner of expression gives 
strength and weight to our ideas, which 
frequently make impressions upon the 
mind, as iron does upon the solid bodies, 
rather by repeated strokes than a single 
blow. In answer to this he usually has 
recourse to authorities ; and produces 
Lysias among the Grecians, and Cato 
and the two Gracchi among our own 
countrymen, as instances in favour of 
the concise style. In return, I name De- 
mosthenes, ^schynes, Hisperides, and 
many others, in opposition to Lysias ; 
while I confront Cato and the Gracchi, 
with Csesar, PoUio, Cffilius, and above all 
Cicero, whose longest oration is generally 
esteemed the best. It is in good com- 
positions, as in every thing else that is 
valuable; the more there is of them, the 
better. You may observe in statues, 
basso-relievos, pictures, and the bodies of 
men, and even in animals and trees, that 
nothing is more graceful than magnitude, 
if it is accompanied with proportion. 
The same holds true in pleading ; and 
even in books, a large volume carries 
something of beauty and authority in its 
very size. My antagonist, who is ex- 
tremely dexterous at evading an argu- 
ment, eludes all this, and much more 
which I usually urge to the same purpose, 
by insisting that those very persons, upon 



40 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book L 



whose works i found my opinion, made 
considerable additions to their orations 
when they published them. This I 
deny : and appeal to the harangues of 
numberless orators ; particularly to those 
of Cicero for Murena and Varenus, where 
he seems to have given us little more than 
the general charge. Wlience it appears, 
that many things which he enlarged 
upon at the time he delivered those ora- 
tions, were retrenched when he gave 
them to the public. The same excellent 
orator informs us, that, agreeably to the 
ancient custom which allowed only one 
counsel on a side, Cluentius had no other 
advocate but himself : and tells us far- 
ther, that he employed four whole days 
in defence of Cornelius : by which it 
plainly appears that those orations which, 
wlien delivered at their fnli length, had 
necessarily taken up so much time at the 
bar, were greatly altered and abridged 
when he afterwards comprised them in 
a sing-le volume, though I must confess, 
indeed, a large one. But it is objected, 
there is a great difference between good 
pleading and just composition. This 
opinion, I acknowledge, has some fa- 
vourers, and it may be true ; neverthe- 
less I am persuaded (though I may per- 
haps be mistaken), that, as it is possible 
a pleading may be well received by the 
audience, which has not merit enough to 
recommend it to the reader, so a good 
oration cannot be a bad pleading ; for 
the oration upon paper is, in truth, the 
original and model of the speech that is 
to be pronounced. It is for this reason 
we find in many of the best orations ex- 
tant, numberless expressions which have 
the air of unpremeditated discourse ; and 
tliis even where v/e are sure they Avere 
never spoken at all : as for instance in 
the following passage from the oration 
against Verres, — " A certain mechanic 
— what's his name ? Oh, I am obliged 
to you for helping me to it; yes, I 
mean I'olycletus." It cannot then be 
denied, that the nearer ap])roacli a speak- 
er makes to the rules of just compo- 
sition, the more perfect he will be in his 
art ; always supposiiig, however, that he 
lias the necessary indulgence in point of 
time ; for if he be abridged of that, no 
imputation can justly be fixed upon the 
advocate, thougli certainly a very great 
one is chargeable upon the judge. The 
sense of the laws is, I am sure, on my 



side, Avliich are by no means sparing of 
the orator's time ; it is not brevity, but an 
enlarged scope, a full attention to every 
thing material, which they recommend. 
And how is it possible for an advocate to 
acquit himself of that duty, unless in the 
most insignificant causes, if he affects to 
be concise ? Let me add what experience, 
that unerring guide, has taught me : it 
has frequently been my province to act 
both as an advocate and as a judge, as I 
have often assisted as an assessor *, where 
I have ever found the judgments of man- 
kind are to be influenced by different ap- 
plications ; and that the slightest circum- 
stances often produce the most important 
consequences. There is so vast a variety 
in the dispositions and understandings 
of men, that they seldom agree in their 
opinions about any one point in debate 
before them ; or if they do, it is gene- 
rally from the movement of different 
passions. Besides, as every man natu- 
rally favours his own discoveries, and 
when he hears an argument made use 
of which had before occurred to himself, 
will certainly embrace it as extremely 
convincing, the orator therefore should 
so adapt himself to his audience as to 
throw out something to every one of 
them, that he may receive and approve 
as his own peculiar thought. I remem- 
ber when Regulus and I were concerned 
together in a cause, he said to me. You 
seem to think it necessary to insist upon 
every point ; whereas I always take aim 
at my adversary's throat, and there 1 
closely press him. ('Tis true, he tena- 
ciously holds whatever part he has once 
fixed upon : but the misfortune is, he 
is extremely apt to mistake the right 
place.) I answered. It might possibly 
happen that what he took for what he 
called the throat, was in reality some 
other part. As for me, said I, who do 
not pretend ^ to direct my aim with so 
much certainty, I attack every part, and 
push at every opening ; in short, to use 
a vulgar proverb, I leave no stone un- 
turned. As in agriculture, it is not my 
vineyards, or my woods alone, but my 
fields also that I cultivate ; and (to pur- 
sue the allusion) as I do not content 
myself with sowing those fields with 

* The Prastor was assisted by ten assessors, 
five of whom were senators, and the rest kniglits. 
Willi these he was obliged to consult before 
he pronoiincci] sentence. 



Sect. II. 



PLINY. 



47 



only one kind of grain, but employ 
several different sorts : so in my plead- 
ings at the bar, I spread at large a 
variety of matter like so many different 
seeds, in order to reap from thence 
whatever may happen to hit : for the dis- 
position of your jiidg'es is as precarious 
and as little to be ascertained, as that 
of soils and seasons. I remember the 
comic writer Eupolis mentions it in 
praise of that excellent orator Pericles, 
that 

On his lips persuasiou hung", 
And powerful reason rul'd his tongue: 
Thus he alone could boast the art, 
To charm at once and sting the heart. 

But could Pericles, without the richest 
variety of expression , and merely by force 
of the concise or the rapid style, or both 
together (for they are extremely dif- 
ferent), have exerted that charm and 
that sting of which the poet here speaks ? 
To delight and to persuade requires 
time and a great compass of language ; 
and to leave a sting in the minds of his 
audience is an effect not to be expected 
from an orator who slightly pushes, but 
from him, and him only, who thrusts 
home and deep. Another comic poet*, 
speaking of the same orator, says. 

His mighty words like Jove's owa thunder 

roll; 
Greece hears and trembles to her inmost soul. 

But it is not the concise and the reserved, 
it is the copious, the majestic, and the 
sublime orator, who with the blaze and 
thunder of his eloquence hurries impe- 
tuously along, and bears down all before 
him. There is a just mean, I own, in 
every thing ; but he equally deviates from 
that true mark, who falls short of it, as 
he who goes beyond it ; he who confines 
himself in too narrow a compass, as he 
who launches out with too great a lati- 
tude. Hence it is as common to hear 
our orators condemned for being too bar- 
ren, as too luxuriant ; for not reaching, 
as well as for overflowing the bounds of 
their subject. Both, no doubt, are equally 
distant from the proper medium ; but 
with this difference, however, that in the 
one the fault arises from an excess, in the 
other from a deficiency ; an error which 
if it be not a sign of a more correct, yet 
is certainly of a more exalted genius. 
^Vlien I say this, I would not be under- 

* Aristophanes. 



Stood to approve that everlasting talker^ 
mentioned in Homer, but tliat other:}: 
described in the following lines : 

Frequent and soft as falls the winter snow, 
Thus from his lips the copious periods flow. 

Not but I extremely admire him too §, of 
whom the poet says, 

Fevy- were his word?, but wonderfuU}"- strons:. 

Yet if I were to choose, I should clearly 
give the preference to the style resembling 
winter snov/, that is, to the full and dif- 
fusive : in short, to that pomp of elo- 
quence which seems all heavenly and 
divine. But ('tis urged) the harangue of 
a more moderate length is most ge- 
nerally admired. It is so, I confess ; 
but by whom? By the indolent only; 
and to fix the standard by the laziness 
and false delicacy of these would surely 
be the highest absurdity. Wsre you to 
consult persons of this cast, they would 
tell you, not only that it is best to say 
little, but that it is best to say nothing. — 
Thus, my friend, I have laid before you 
my sentiments upon this subject, which 
I shall readily abandon, if I find they are 
not agreeable to yours. But if you should 
dissent from me, I beg you would com- 
mu nicate to me your reasons . For th ougli 
I ought to yield in this case to your more 
enlightened judgment, yet in a point of 
such consequence, I had rather receive 
my conviction from the force of argu- 
ment than authority. If you should be 
of my opinion in this matter, a line or 
two from you in return, intimating your 
concurrence, will be sufficient to confirm 
me in the justness of my sentiments. On 
the contrary, if you think me mistaken, 
I beg you would give me your objections 
at large. Yet has it not, think you, 
something of the air of bribery, to ask 
only a short letter if you agree with 
me ; but enjoin you the trouble of a 
very long one,- if you are of a contrary 
opinion ? Farewell. 



LETTER XI. 

To Catiliiis Sevcrus. 

I AM at present detained in Rome (and 
have been so a considerable time) under 
the most alarming apprciiensions . Titus 

f Thersitcs, Iliad ii. v. 212. 
t Ulysses, Iliad iii. v. 222. 
§ Menelans., ihid. 



48 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



Aristo, whom 1 infinitely love and es- 
teem, is fallen into a dangerous and ob- 
stinate illness, wliicli deejily affects me. 
Virtue, knowledge, and good sense, shine 
out with so superior a lustre in this ex- 
cellent man, that learning herself and 
every valuable endowment seems in- 
volved in the danger of his single per- 
son. How consummate is his know- 
ledge, both in the political and civil 
laws of his country ! How thoroughly 
conversant is he in every branch of his- 
tory and antiquity ! There is no article 
of science, in short, you would wish to 
be informed of, in which he is not skill- 
ed. As for my OAvn part, whenever I 
would acquaint myself with any abstruse 
point of literature, I have recourse to 
him, as to one who supplies me with its 
most hidden treasures. What an amia- 
ble sincerity, what a noble dignity is 
there in his conversation ! How hum- 
ble, yet how graceful is his diffidence ! 
Though he conceives at once every 
point in debate, yet he is as slow to de- 
cide as he is quick to apprehend, calmly 
and deliberately v/eighing every opposite 
reason that is offered, and tracing it, 
with a most judicious penetration, from 
its source through all its remotest con- 
sequences. His diet is frugal, his dress 
plain ; and whenever I enter his cham- 
ber, and view him upon his couch, I 
consider the scene before me as a true 
image of ancient simplicity, to which 
his illustrious mind reflects the noblest 
ornament. He places no part of his 
liappiness in ostentation, but refers the 
whole of it to conscience ; and seeks the 
reward of his virtue, not in the clamor- 
ous applauses of the world, but in the 
silent satisfaction which results from 
liaving acted well. In short, you will 
not easily find his equal even among our 
philosophers by profession. He frequents 
not the places of public disputations*, 
nor idly amuses himself and others with 
vain and endless controversies. His 
nobler talents are exerted to more use- 
ful purposes ; in the scenes of civil and 
active life. Many has he assisted with 
his interest, still more with his advice. 
But though he dedicates his time to the 
affairs of the world, he regulates his 
conduct by the prece|)ts of the philoso- 
phers ; and in the [)ractice of temper- 

* The philosophers nspcl to ho1<l their dis- 
putations in tho Gymnasia and Porticos, bein;? 
plaresof most public resort for walking, &c. 



ance, piety, justice, and fortitude, he has 
no superior. It is astonishing with what 
patience he bears his illness; how be 
struggles with pain, endures thirst, and 
quietly submits to the troublesome re- 
gimen necessary in a raging fever. He 
lately called me, and a few more of his 
particular friends, to his bedside, and 
begged we would ask his physicians 
v/hat turn they apprehended his distem- 
per would take ; that if they pronounced 
it incurable, he might voluntarily put an 
end to his life ; but if there were hopes 
of a recovery, however tedious and dif- 
ficult, he might wait the event with pa- 
tience ; for so much, he thought, was 
due to the tears and intreaties of his 
wife and daughter, and to the affection- 
ate intercession of his friends, as not 
voluntarily to abandon our hopes, if in 
truth they were not entirely desperate. 
A resolution this, in my estimation, truly 
heroical, and worthy of the highest ap- 
plause. Instances are frequent enough 
in the world, of rushing into the arms 
of death without reflection, and by a 
sort of blind impulse : but calmly and 
deliberately to weigh the reasons for 
life or death, and to be determined in 
our choice as either side of the scale 
prevails, is the mark of an uncommon 
and great mind f. We have had the sa- 
tisfaction of the opinion of his physicians 
in his favour ; and may Heaven give 
success to their art, and free me from 
this restless anxiety ! If that should 
happily be the event, I shall immediately 
return to my favourite Laurentinum, or, 
in other words, to my books and stu- 
dious retirement. At present, so much 
of my time and thought I employ in 
attendance upon my friend, and in my 
apprehensions for him, that I have 
neither leisure nor inclination for sub- 
jects of literature. Thus have I in- 
formed you of my fears, my wishes, and 
my intentions. Communicate to me, in 
your turn, but in a gayer style, an ac- 
count not only of what you are and have 
been doing, but even of your future de- 
signs. It will be a very sensible con- 
solation to me in this perplexity of 
mind, to be assured that yours is easy. 
Farewell. 

•}' The general lawfulness of self-murder was 
a doctrine by no means universally received in 
the ancient Pa^an world ; many of the most 
considerable names, both Greek and Foman, 
havini^ expressly declart^l aj^ainst that practice. 



Sect. 11, 



P L I N Y. 



49 



LETTER Xll. 

To Behius. 

My friend and guest Tranquillus has an 
inclination to purchase a small farm, of 
which, as I am informed, an acquaint- 
ance of yours intends to dispose. I beg" 
you would endeavour he may have it 
'Upon reasonable terms ; a circumstance 
which will add to his satisfaction in ob- 
taining it. A dear bargain is always dis- 
agreeable, particularly as it is a reflec- 
tion upon the purchaser's judgment. 
There are several circumstances attend- - 
ing this little villa, which (supposing my 
friend has no objection to the price) are 
extremely suitable to his taste : the con- 
venient distance from Rome, the good- 
ness of the roads, the smallness of the 
building, and the very few acres of land 
around it, which is just enough to amuse 
but not employ him. To a man of the 
studious turn that Tranquillus is, it is 
sufficient if he has but a small spot to 
relieve the mind and divert the eye, 
where he may saunter round his grounds, 
traverse his single walk, grow familiar 
with his two or three vines, and count 
his little plantations. I mention these 
particulars, to let you see how much he 
will be obliged to me, as I shall to you, 
if you can help him to the purchase of 
this little box, so agreeable to his taste, 
upon terms of which he shall have no 
•©ccasion to repent. 

LETTER XIIL 
To Voconius Romanus. 

Rome has not for many years beheld 
a more magnificent and solemn spec- 
tacle, than was lately exhibited in the 
public funeral of that great man, the 
Hlustrious and fortunate * Vii-ginius 
Rufus. He lived thirty years in the full 
enjoyment of the highest reputation : 
and as he had the satisfaction to see his 

* The ancients seem to have considered for- 
tune as a mai-k of merit in the person who was 
thus distinguished. Cicero (to borrow the ob- 
servation of an excellent writer) recommended 
Pompey to the Romans for their general upon 
three accounts, as he was a man of courage, 
conduct, and good fortune ; and not only Sj'lla 
the Dictator, but several of the Roman empe- 
rors, as is still to be seen upon their meda'.s, 
among other titles, gave themselves that of 
/elix, or fortunate. 



actions celebrated by poets and recorded 
by historians, he seems even to have an- 
ticipated his fame with posterity. He 
was thrice raised to the dignity of con- 
sul, that he who refused to be the first 
of princes f might at least be the high- 
est of subjects. As he escaped the re- 
sentment of those emperors to whom 
his virtues had given umbrage, and 
even rendered him odious, and ended 
his days when this best of princes, this 
friend of mankind |, was in quiet pos- 
session of the empire, it seems as if Pro- 
vidence had purposely preserved him to 
these times, that he might receive the 
honour of a public funeral. He arrived 
in full tranquillity, and universally re- 
vered, to the eighty-fourth year of his 
age ; having enjoyed an uninterrupted 
state of health during his whole life, ex- 
cepting only a paralytic disorder in his 
hands, which, however, was attended 
with no pain. His last sickness, indeed, 
was severe and tedious ; but even the 
accident that occasioned it added to his 
glory. As he was preparing to return 
his public acknowledgments to the em- 
peror, who had raised him to the consul- 
ship, a large volume, which he accident- 
ally received at that time, too weighty 
for a feeble old man, slipped out of 

f At the time of the general defection from 
Nero, Virginius was at the head of a very pow- 
erful army in Germany, whichhad pressed him, 
and,even attempted to force him, to accept the 
title of emperor. But he constantly refused it, 
adding, that he would not even suffer it to be 
given to any person but whom the senate should 
elect. With this army he marched against Vin- 
dex, who had put himself at the head of 1 00,000 
Gauls. Having come up with him, he gave him 
battle, in which Vindex was slain, and his forces 
entirely defeated. After this victory, when 
Nero's death was known in the army, the sol- 
diers renewed their applicationto Virginius to 
accept the imperial dignity ; and though one of 
the tribunes rushed into his tent, and threat- 
ened that he should either receive the empire, or 
his sword through his body, he resolutely persist- 
ed in his former sentiments. But as soon as 
the news of Nero's death was con6rmed, and 
that the senate had declared for Galba, he pre- 
vailed with the army, though with much dif- 
ficultj'-, to do so too. 

J The j ustness of this glorious title, the friend 
of mankind, here given to Nerva, is conBrraed 
by the concurrent testimony of all the histo- 
rians of these times. That excellent emperor's 
short reign seems indeed to have been one un- 
interrupted series of generous and benevolent 
actions; and he used to say himself, he had 
the satisfaction of being conscious he had not 
committed a single act that could give just 
offence to any man. 

E 



50 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



his hands. In hastily endeavouring to 
recover it, the pavement heing extremely 
slippery, he fell down and broke his 
thigh bone ; which fracture, as it was 
unskillfully set at first, and having be- 
sides the infirmities of age to contend 
with, could never be brought to unite 
again. The funeral obsequies paid to 
the memory of this great man, have 
done honour to the emperor, to the 
present age, and even to eloquence her- 
self. The consul Cornelius Tacitus 
pronounced his funeral oration ; for, 
to crown the series of his felicities, he 
received the applause of the most elo- 
quent of orators. He died full of years 
and of glory, as illustrious by the ho- 
nours he refused as by those he acquired. 
Still, however, he will be missed and 
lamented by the world, as the bright 
model of a better age ; especially by 
myself, who not only admired him as a 
patriot, but loved him as a friend. We 
were not only natives of the same pro- 
vince, and of neighbouring towns, but 
our estates were contiguous. Besides 
these accidental connections with him, he 
was also left guardian to me ; and indeed 
he treated me with the affection of a pa- 
rent. Wiienever I offered myself a can- 
didate for any employment, he constantly 
supported me with his interest ; as in all 
the honours I have obtained, though he 
had long since renounced all offices of 
this nature, he would kindly give up the 
repose of his retirement, and come in per- 
son to solicit for me. At the time when 
it is customary for the priests to nominate 
such as they judge worthy to be received 
into their sacred office*, he constantly 
proposed me. Even in his last sickness 
I received a distinguishing mark of bis 
affection ; being apprehensive he might 
be named one of the five commissioners 
appointed by the senate to reduce the 
public expenses, he fixed upon me, young 
as I am, to carry his excuses, in pre- 
ference to so many other friends of su- 
perior age and dignity ; and in a very 
obliging manner assured me, that had he 



* Namely, of Augurs. This college, as regu- 
lated by Sylla, consisted of fifteen, who were 
all persons of the fust distinction in Rome: it 
was a priesthood for life, of a character indeli- 
ble, which no crime or forfeiture could efface; 
it was necessary that every candidate should 
be nominated to the people by two Augurs, 
who gave a solemn testimony upon oath of 
his dignity and fitness for that office. 



a son of his own, he would nevertheless 
have employed me in that office. Have 
I not sufficient cause then to lament his 
death, as if it were immature, and thus 
pour out the fulness of my grief in the 
bosom of my friend? if indeed it be rea- 
sonable to grieve upon this occasion, or 
to call that event deaths v/hich, to such 
a man, is rather to be looked upon as the 
period of his mortality than the end of 
his life. He lives, my friend, and will 
continue to live for ever ; and his fame 
will spread farther, and be more cele- 
brated by mankind, now that he is re- 
moved from their sight. 

I had many other things to write to 
you, but my mind is so entirely taken up 
with this subject that I cannot call it off 
to any other. Virginius is constantly in 
my thoughts ; the vain but lively im- 
pressions of him are continually before 
my eyes, and I am for ever fondly ima- 
gining that I hear him, converse with 
him, and embrace him. There are, 
perhaps, and possibly hereafter will be, 
some few who may rival him in virtue ; 
but not one, I am persuaded, that will 
ever equal him in glory. Farewell. 



LETTER XIV. 

To PauUnus. 

Whether I have reason for my rage, is 
not quite so clear ; however, wondrous 
angry I am. But love, you know, will 
sometimes be irrational ; as it is often 
imgovernable, and ever jealous. The 
occasion of this my formidable wrath is 
great, you must allow, were it but just : 
yet taking it for granted, that there is as 
much truth as weight in it, I am most 
vehemently enraged at your long silence. 
V/ould you soften my resentment ? Let 
your letters for the future be very fre- 
quent, and very long. I shall excuse you 
upon no other terms ; and as absence 
from Rome, or engagement in business, 
it; a plea I can by no means admit ; 
so that of ill health, the gods, I hope, 
will not suffer you to allege. As for my- 
self, I am enjoying at my villa the al- 
ternate pleasures of study and indolence ; 
those happy privileges of retired leisure ! 
Farewell. 



Sect. II. 



PLINY. 



51 



LETTER XV. 



To Nepos. 

We had received very advantageous ac- 
counts of Iseus, before liis arrival liere ; 
but lie is superior to all that was re- 
ported of him. He possesses the utmost 
facility and copiousness of expression, 
and his unpremediated discourses have 
all the propriety and elegance of the most 
studied and elaborate composition. He 
speaks the Greek language, or rather the 
genuine Attic. His exordiums are polite, 
easy, and harmonious ; and, when occa- 
sion requires, solemn and majestic. He 
gives his audience liberty to call for any 
question they please, and sometimes even 
to name what side of it he shall take ; 
when immediately he rises up in all the 
graceful attitude of an orator, and enters 
at once into his subject with surprising 
fluency. His reflections are solid, and 
clothed in the choicest expressions, which 
present themselves to liim with the utmost 
facility. The ease and strength of his 
most unprepared discourses plainly dis- 
cover he has been very conversant in 
the best authors, and much accustomed 
to compose himself. He opens his subject 
with great propriety ; his style is clear, 
his reasoning strong, his inferences just, 
and his figures graceful and sublime. In 
a word, he at once Instructs, entertains, 
and affects you, and each in so high 
a degree, that you are at a loss to deter- 
mine in which of those talents he most 
excels. His arguments are formed in all 
the strengh and conciseness of the strict- 
est logic ; a point not very easy to attain 
even in studied compositions. His me- 
mory is so extraordinary, that he will re- 
peat what he has before spoken extempore 
without losing a single word. This won- 
derful faculty he has acquired by great 
application and practice ; for his whole 
time is so devDted to subjects of this na- 
ture, that he thinks and talks of nothing 
else. Though he is above sixty-three 
years of age, he still chooses to continue 
in this profession ; than which, it must be 
owned, none abounds with men of more 
worth, simplicity, and integrity. We, who 
are conversant in the real contentions 
of the bar, unavoidably contract a certain 
artfulness, however contrary to our na- 
tural tempers : but the business of the 
schools, as it turns merely upon matters 



of imagination, affords an employment as 
innocent as it is agreeable ; and it must, 
methinks, be particularly so to those who 
are advanced in years ; as nothing can 
be more desirable at that period of life, 
than to enjoy those reasonable pleasures, 
which are the most pleasing entertain- 
ments of our youth. I look therefore 
upon Iseus, not only as the most eloquent, 
but the most happy of men ; as I shall 
esteem you the most insensible if you ap- 
pear to slight his acquaintance. Let me 
prevail with you then to come to Rome, 
if not upon my account, or any other, at 
least for the pleasure of hearing this ex- 
traordinary person. Do you remember 
to have read of a certain inhabitant of 
the city of Cadiz, who was so struck 
with the illustrious character of Livy, 
that he travelled to Rome on purpose to 
see that great genius ; and, as soon as he 
had satisfied his curiosity, returned home 
again ? A man must have a very inele- 
gant, illiterate, and indolent (I had al- 
most said a very mean) turn of mind, not 
to think whatever relates to a science so 
entertaining, so noble, and so polite, 
worthy of his curiosity. You will tell me, 
perhaps, you have authors in your own 
study equally eloquent. I allow it ; and 
those authors you may turn over at any 
time, but you cannot always have an op- 
portunity of hearing Iseus. Besides, we 
are infinitely more affected with what 
we hear, than what we read. There is 
something in the voice, the countenance, 
the habit*, and the gesture of the 
speaker, that concur in fixing an impres- 
sion upon the mind, and gives this me- 
thod of instruction greatly the advantage 
of any thing one can receive from books ; 
this at least was the opinion of iEschines, 
who having read to the Rhodians a speech 
of Demosthenes, which they loudly ap- 
plauded : " But how," said he, " would 
you have been affected, had you heard 
the orator himself thundering out this 
sublime harangue?'' jSlschines, if we 
may believe Demosthenes, had great dig- 
nity of utterance ; yet, you see, he could 
not but confess it would have been a con- 
siderable advantage to the oration, if it 
had been pronounced by the author him- 
self, in all the pomp and energy of his 
powerful elocution. ^Yliat I aim at by 



* The ancients thought every thing that 
concerned an orator worthy of their attention, 
even to his very dress. 

E2 



52 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



this, is, to persuade you to come and 
hear Iseus ; and let me again intreat you 
to do so, if for no other reason, at least 
that you may have the pleasure to>say, 
you once heard him. Farewell. 



LETTER XVL 

To Caninius. 

Howls my friend employed? Is it in 
the pleasures of study, or in those of the 
field ? Or does he unite both together, 
as he well may, on the banks of our fa- 
vourite Larius * ? The fish in that noble 
lake will supply you with sport of that 
kind ; as the woods that surround it will 
afford you game ; while the solemnity 
of that sequestered scene will at the same 
time dispose your mind to contemplation. 
Whether you are entertained with all, 
or any of these agreeable amusements, 
far be it that I should say I envy you ; 
but, I must confess, I greatly regret that 
I cannot partake of them too ; a happi- 
ness I as earnestly long for, as a man in a 
fever does for drink to allay his thirst, or 
baths and fountains to assuage his heat. 
Shall I never break loose (if I may not 
disentangle myself) from these ties that 
thus closely withhold me ? . I doubt, in- 
deed, never ; for new affairs are daily 
increasing, while yet the former remain 
unfinished ; such an endless train of busi- 
ness rises upon me, and rivets my chains 
still faster ! Farewell. 



LETTER XVn. 

To Octavius. 



nestly expected them, and you ought not 
to disappoint or delay it any longer. 
Some few poems of yours have already, 
contrary to your inclination, indeed, 
broke their prison, and escaped to light ; 
these if you do not collect together, 
some person or other will claim the agree- 
able wanderers as their own. Remember, 
my friend, the mortality of human na- 
ture, and that there is nothing so likely 
to preserve your name as a monument of 
this kind ; all others are as frail and pe- 
rishable as the men whose memory they 
pretend to perpetuate. You will say, I 
suppose, as usual, let my friends see to 
that. May you find many whose care, 
fidelity, and learning, render them able 
and willing to undertake so considerable 
a charge ! But surely it is not altogether 
prudent to expect from others, what a 
man will not do for himself. However, 
as to publishing of them, I will press you 
no farther ; be that when you shall think 
proper. But let me, at least, prevail with 
you to recite them, that you may be more 
disposed to send them abroad; and may 
receive the satisfaction of that applause, 
which I will venture, upon very just 
grounds, to assure you of beforehand. I 
please myself with imagining the crowd, 
the admiration, the applause, and even 
the silence that will attend you : for the 
silence of an audience, when it proceeds 
from an earnest desire of hearing, is as 
agreeable to me as the loudest approba- 
tion. Do not then, by this unreasonable 
reserve, defraud your labours any longer 
of a fruit so certain and so desirable ; if 
you should, the world, I fear, will be apt 
to charge you with carelessness and in- 
dolence, or, perhaps, with timidity. 
Farewell. 



You are certainly a most obstinate, I had 
almost said a most cruel man, thus to 
withliold from the Avorld such excellent 
compositions ! How long do you intend 
to deny your friends the pleasure of your 
verses, and yourself the glory of them.^ 
Suffer them, I entreat you, to come 
abroad, and to be admired ; as admired 
they undoubtedly will be, wherever the 
Roman language is understood. The 
public, believe me, has long and ear- 

* Now called Lago di Como, in the Milanese. 
Comum, the place where Pliny was born, and 
near to which Caninius had a country house, 
was situated tipon the border of this lake. 



LETTER XVin. 

To Priscus. 

As I know you gladly embrace every 
opportunity of obliging me, so there is 
no man to whom I had rather lay myself 
under an obligation. I apply to you, 
therefore, preferably to any body else, 
for a favour which I am extremely de- 
sirous of obtaining. You, who are at the 
head of a very considerable army, have 
many opportunities of exercising your 
generosity ; and the length of time you 
have enjoyed that post, must have enabled 



Sect. II. 



PLINY. 



53 



you to provide for ali your own friends. 
I hope you will nO'>-/ turn your eyes upon 
some of mine : they are but a few indeed 
for whom I shall solicit you ; though your 
g-enerous disposition, I know, would be 
better pleased if tlie number were greater. 
But it would ill become me to trouble 
you with recommending more than one 
or two ; at present I will only mention 
Voconius Romanus. His father was 
of great distinction among the Roman 
knights ; and his father-in-law, or, as I 
might more properly call him, his second 
father (for his affectionate treatment of 
Voconius entitles him to that appella- 
tion), was still more conspicuous. His 
mother was one of the most considerable 
ladies of Upper Spain : you know what 
character the people of that province 
bear, and how remarkable they are for 
the strictness of their manners. As for 
himself, he has been lately admitted into 
the sacred order of priesthood. Our 
friendship began with our studies, and 
we were early united in the closest in- 
timacy. We lived together under the 
same roof in town and country, as he 
shared with me my most serious and my 
gayest hours : and where, indeed, could 
I have found a more faithful friend, or 
more agreeable companion ? In his con- 
versation, and even in his very voice and 
countenance, there is the most amiable 
sweetness ; as at the bar he discovers an 
elevated genius, an easy and harmonious 
elocution, a clear and penetrating appre- 
hension. He has so happy a turn for 
epistolary writing^, that were you to 
read his letters, you would imagine they 
had been dictated by the Muses them- 
selves. I love him with a more than 
common affection, and I know he returns 
it with equal ardour. Even in the earlier 
part of our lives, I warmly embraced 
every opportunity of doing him all the 
good offices which then lay in my power ; 
as I have lately obtained for him of the 
emperor f, the privilege granted to those 
who have three children J. A favour 



* It appears from this and some other pas- 
sages in these letters, that the art of epistolary 
writing was esteemed by the Romans in the 
number of liberal and polite accomplish- 
ments. 

f Trajan. 

;|: By a law passed A. U. 762, it was enacted, 
that whatever citizen of Rome had three chil- 
dren, should be excused from all troublesome 
offices where he lived. This privilege the ein- 



which though Csesar very rarely bestows, 
and always with great caution, yet he 
conferred, at my request, in such a man- 
ner as to give it the air and grace of 
being his own choice. The best way of 
shewing that I think he deserves the 
obligations he has already received from 
me, is, by adding more to them, espe- 
cially as he always accepts my favours 
with so much gratitude as to merit far- 
ther. Thus I have given you a faithful 
account of Romanus, and informed you 
how thoroughly I have experienced his 
worth, and how much I love him. Let 
me intreat you to honour him with your 
patronage in a way suitable to the gene- 
rosity of your heart and the eminence of 
your station. But above all, admit him 
into a share of your affection ; for though 
you were to confer upon him the utmost 
you have in your power to bestow, you 
can give him nothing so valuable as your 
friendship. That you may see he is 
worthy of it, even to the highest degree of 
intimacy, I have sent you this short sketch 
of his character. I should continue my 
intercessions in his behalf, but that I am 
sure you do not love to be pressed, and I 
have already repeated them in every line 
of this letter ; for to shew a just reason 
for what one asks, is to intercede in the 
strongest manner. Farewell. 



LETTER XIX, 

t 

To Valerianus. 

How goes on your old estate at Marsi § ? 
and how do you approve of your new 
purchase ? Has it as many beauties in 
your eye now, as before you bought it ? 
That- would be extraordinary indeed ! 
for an objectin possession seldom retains 
the same charms it had in pursuit. As 
for myself, the estate left nie by my mo- 
ther uses me but ill ; however, I value it 
for her sake, and am besides grown a 
good deal insensible by a long course of 
bad treatment. Thus, frequent com- 
plaints generally end at last in being 
ashamed of complaining any more. 

peror sometimes extended to those who were 
not legally entitled to it. 

§ One of the ancient divisions of Italy., com- 
prehendins: part of what is now called the Far- 
ther Abruzzo. 



54 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book L 



LETTER XX. 

To Mauricus. 

What can be more agreeable to me than 
the office you have enjoined me, of 
choosing a proper tutor for your nephews ? 
It gives me an opportunity of revisiting 
the scene of my education, and of turn- 
ing back again to the most pleasing part 
of my life. I take my seat, as formerly, 
among the young lads, and have the 
pleasure to experience the respect my 
character in eloquence meets with from 
them. I lately came in upon them while 
they were warmly declaiming before a 
very full audience of persons of the first 
rank ; the moment I appeared, they were 
silent. I mention this for their honour, 
rather than my own ; and to let you see 
the just hopes you may conceive of 
placing your nephews here to their ad- 
vantage. I purpose to hear aU the seve- 
ral professors ; and when I have done so, 
I shall write you such an account of them 
as will enable you (as far as a letter can) 
to judge of their respective abilities. 
The faithful execution of this important 
commission is what I owe to the friend- 
ship that subsists between us, and to the 
memory of your brother. Nothing cer- 
tainly is more your concern, than that his 
children (I would have said yours, but 
that I know you now look upon them 
even with more tenderness than your 
own) may be found worthy of such a fa- 
ther, and such an uncle ; and I should 
have claimed a part in that care, though 
you had not required it of me. I am 
sensible, in choosing a preceptor, I shall 
draw upon me the displeasure of all the 
rest of that profession : but when the in- 
terest of these young men is concerned, 
I esteem it my duty to hazard the dis- 
pleasure, or even enmity, of any man, 
with as mucJi resolution as a parent 
would for his own children. Farewell. 



LETTER XXI. 

To Cerealis. 

You advise me to read my late speech 
before an assembly of my friends. I 
shall do so, since it is agreeable to your 
opinion, though I have many scruples 
about it. Compositions of this kind lose, 



I well know, all tbeir fire and force, and 
even almost their very name, by a plain 
recital. It is the solemnity of the tribu- 
nal, the concourse of one's friends, the 
expectation of the success, the emulation 
between the several orators concerned, 
the different parties formed amongst the 
audience in their favour ; in a word, it is 
the air, the motion*, the attitude of the 
speaker, with ail the corresponding ges- 
tures of his body, which conspire to give 
a spirit and grace to what he delivers. 
Hence those who sit when they plead, 
though they have most of the other ad- 
vantages 1 just now mentioned, yet, from 
that single circumstance, weaken and de- 
press the whole force of their eloquence. 
The eyes and hands of the reader, those 
important instances of graceful elocu- 
tion, being engaged, it is no wonder the 
hearer grows languid while he has none 
of those awakening charms to excite and 
engage his attention. To these general 
considerations I must add this particular 
disadvantageous circumstance, which at- 
tends the speech in question, that it is 
chiefly of the argumentative kind ; and 
it is natural for an author to suspect, that 
what he wrote with labour will not be 
read with pleasure. For who is there so 
unprejudiced as not to prefer the flowing 
and florid oration, to one in this close and 
unornamented style ? It is very unreason- 
able there should be any difference ; how- 
ever, it is certain the judges generally ex- 
pect one manner of pleading, and the 
audience another ; whereas in truth an 
auditor ought to be affected only with 
those things which would strike himj 
were he in the place of the judge. Ne- 
vertheless, it is possible the objections 
which lie against this piece may be got 
over, in consideration of the novelty it 
has to recommend it ; the novelty I mean 
with respect to us, for the Greek orators 
have a method, though upon a different 
occasion, not altogether unlike what I 
made use of. They, when they would 
throw out a law, as contrary to some 
former one unrepealed, argue by com- 
paring those laws together ; so I, on the 
contrary, endeavoured to shew that the 
crime, which I was insisting upon as 

* Some of the Roman orators were as much 
too vehement in their action, as those of our 
own country are too calm and spiritless. In 
the violence of their elocution they not only 
used all the warmth of gesture, but actually 
•walked backwards and forwards. 



Sect. II. 



PLINY. 



55 



falling within the intent and meaning of 
the law relating to public extortions, was 
agreeable not only to that, but likewise to 
other laws of the same name. Those, 
who are not conversant in the laws of 
their country, can have no taste for rea- 
sonings of this kind ; but those, who are, 
ought to be so much the more pleased 
with them. I shall endeavour, therefore, 
if you persist in my reciting it, to collect 
a judicious audience. But before you de- 
termine this point, I intreat you tho- 
roughly to weigh the difficulties I have 
laid before you, and then decide as reason 
shall direct ; for it is reason that must 
justify you : obedience to your com- 
mands will be a sufficient apology for 
me. Farewell. 



LETTER XXII. 

To Calvisius. 

I NEVER spent my time more agreeably, 
I think, than I did lately with Spurinna. 
I am so much pleased with the uninter- 
rupted regularity of his way of life, that 
if ever I should arrive at old age, there 
is no man whom I would sooner choose 
for my model. I look upon order in hu- 
man actions, especially at that advanced 
period, with the same sort of pleasure 
as I behold the settled course of the 
heavenly bodies. In youth, indeed, 
there is a certain irregularity and agita- 
tion by no means unbecoming ; but in 
age, when business is unseasonable, and 
ambition indecent, all should be calm 
and uniform. This rule Spurinna religi- 
ously pursues throughout his whole con- 
duct. Even in those transactions which 
one might call minute and inconsiderable 
did they not occur every day, he observes 
a certain periodical season and method. 
The first part of the morning he devotes 
to study ; at eight he dresses and walks 
about three miles, in which he enjoys at 
once contemplation and exercise. At his 
return, if he has any friends with him in 
his house, he enters upon some polite and 
usefid topic of conversation ; if he is 
alone, somebody reads to him ; and some- 
times too when he is not, if it is agree- 
able to his company. When this is over 
he reposes himself, and then again either 
takes up a book, or falls into some dis- 
course even more entertaining and in- 



structive. He afterwards takes the air 
in his chariot, either with his wife (who 
is a lady of uncommon merit) or with 
some friend : a happiness which lately 
was mine ! — How agreeable, how noble 
is the enjoyment of him in that hour of 
privacy ! You would fancy you were 
hearing some worthy of ancient times, 
inflaming your breast with the most he- 
roic examples, and instructing your mind 
with the most exalted precepts ; which 
yet he delivers with so modest an air, 
that there is not the least appearance of 
dictating in his conversation. When he 
has thus taken a tour of about seven 
miles, he gets out of his chariot and 
walks a mile more, after which he returns 
home, and either reposes himself, or re- 
tires to his study. He has an excellent 
taste for poetry, and composes in the lyric 
manner, both in Greek and liatin, with 
great judgment. It is surprising what 
an ease and spirit of gaiety runs through 
his verses, which the merit of the author 
renders still more valuable. ^VTien the 
baths are ready, which in winter is about 
three o'clock, and in summer about two, 
he undresses himself; and if there hap- 
pens to be no wind, he Avalks for some 
time in the sun. After this he plays a 
considerable time at tennis ; for by this 
sort of exercise too, he combats the effects 
of old age. When he has bathed, he 
throws himself upon his couch till supper 
time *, and in the mean while some agree- 
able and entertaining author is read to 
him. In this, as in all the rest, his friends 
are at full liberty to partake ; or to em- 
ploy themselves in any other manner 
more suitable to their taste. You sit down 
to an elegant yet frugal repast, which 
is served up in pure and antique plate. 
He has likewise a complete equipage for 
his side-board, in Corinthian metal f, 
which is his pleasure, not his passion. At 
his table he is frequently entertained with 

* This was the principal meal among the 
Romans, at which all their feasts and invita- 
tions were made; they usually began it about 
their ninth hour, answering pretty nearly to 
our three o'clock in the afternoon. But as 
Spurinna, we find, did not enter upon the exer- 
cises which always preceded this meal till the 
eighth or ninth hour, if we allow about three 
hours for that purpose, he could not sit down 
to table till towards six or seven o'clock. 

f This metal, whatever it was composed of 
(for that point is by no means clear), was so 
highly esteemed among the ancients, that 
they preferred it even to gold. 



56 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Boor I. 



comedians, that even his very amuse- 
ments may be seasoned with good sense ; 
and though he continues there, even in 
summer, till the night is something ad- 
vanced, yet he prolongs the feast with so 
much affability and politeness, that none 
of his guests ever think it tedious. By 
this method of living he has preserved 
all his senses entire, and his body active 
and vigorous to his seventy-eighth year, 
without discovering any appearance of 
old age, but the wisdom. This is a sort 
of life which I ardently aspire after ; as 
I purpose to enjoy it, when I shall arrive 
at those years which will justify a retreat 
from business. In the mean while I am 
embarrassed with a thousand affairs, in 
which Spurinna is at once my support 
and my example. As long as it became 
him he entered into all the duties of pub- 
lic life. It was by passing through the 
various offices of the state, by governing 
of provinces, and by indefatigable toil, 
that he merited the repose he now enjoys. 
I propose to myself the same course and 
the same end ; and I gi\e it to you under 
my hand that I do so. If an ill-timed 
ambition should carry me beyond it, pro- 
duce this letter against me, and condemn 
me to repose, whenever I can enjoy it 
without being reproached with indolence. 
Farewell. 



LETTER XXIII. 

To Hispulla. 

It is not easy to determine whether my 
love or esteem were greater for that wise 
and excellent man your father : but this 
is most certain, that in respect to his 
memory and your virtues, I have the ten- 
derest value for you. Can I fail then to 
wish (as I shall by every means in my 
power endeavour) that your son may 
copy the virtues of both his grandfathers, 
particularly his maternal ? as indeed his 
father and his uncle will furnisli him also 
with very illustrious examples. The surest 
method to train him up in the steps of 
these valuable men, is early to season his 
mind with polite learning and useful 
knowledge ; and it is of the last conse- 
quence from whom he receives these in- 
structions. Hitherto he has had his edu- 
cation under your eye, and in your house, 
where he is exposed to few, I should ra- 
ther say to no wrong impressions. But 



he is now of an age to be sent from 
home, and it is time to place him with 
some professor of rhetoric ; of whose dis- 
cipline and method, but above all, of 
whose morals, you may be well satisfied. 
Among the many advantages for which 
this amiable youth is indebted to nature 
and fortune, he has that of a most beau- 
tiful person : it is necessary, therefore, in 
this loose and slippery age, to find out 
one who will not only be his tutor, but 
his guardian and his guide. I will ven- 
ture to recommend Julius Genitor to you 
under that character. I love him, I con- 
fess, extremely ; but my affection does 
by no means prejudice my judgment ; on 
the contrary it is, in truth, the effect of 
it. His behaviour is grave, and his mo- 
rals irreproachable ; perhaps something 
too severe and rigid for the libertine 
manners of these times. His qualifica- 
tions in his profession you may learn 
from many others ; for the art of elo- 
quence, as it is open to all the world, is 
soon discovered ; but the qualities of the 
heart lie more concealed, and out of the 
reach of common observation ; and it is 
on that side I undertake to be answerable 
for my friend. Your son will hear no- 
thing from this worthy man, but what 
will be for his advantage to know, nor 
learn any thing of which it would be 
happier he should be ignorant. He will 
represent to him as often, and with as 
much zeal as you or I should, the virtues 
of his family, and what a glorious weight 
of characters he has to support. You 
will not hesitate then to place him with 
a tutor, whose first care will be to form 
his manners, and afterwards to instruct 
him in eloquence ; an attainment ill ac- 
quired if with the neglect of moral im- 
provements. Farewell, 



LETTER XXIV. 

To Tra quillus. 

The obliging manner in which you de- 
sire me to confer the military tribunate 
upon your relation, which I had obtamed 
of the most illustrious* Neratius Mar- 
cellus for yourself, is agreeable to that 
respect with which you always treat me. 
As it would have given me great plea- 

* This was a title given to all senators, in 
the times of the latter emperors. 



Sect. II. 



PLINY* 



57 



sure to have seen you in that post, so it 
will not be less acceptable to me to have 
it bestowed upon one whom you recom- 
mend. For hardly, I think, would it be 
consistent to wish a man advanced to 
honours, and yet envy him a title far 
nobler than any other he can receive, 
even that of a generous and an affec- 
tionate relation. To deserve and to grant 
favours, is the fairest point of view in 
which we can be placed ; and this ami- 
able character will be yours, if you re- 
sign to your friend what is due to your 
own merit. I must acknov/ledge at the 
same time I am by this means advancing 
my own reputation, as the world will 
learn from hence, that my friends not 
only have it in their power to enjoy such 
an honourable post, but to dispose of it. 
I readily therefore comply with your ge- 
nerous request ; and as your name is not 
yet entered upon the roll, I can without 
difficulty insert Silvanus's in its stead : 
and may he accept this good office at 
your hands with the same grateful dis- 
position that I am sure you will receive 
mine. Farewell. 



LETTER XXV. 

To Catilius. 

I ACCEPT of your invitation to supper ; 
but I must make this agreement before- 
hand, that you dismiss me soon, and 
treat me frugally. Let our entertain- 
ment abound only in philosophical con- 
versation, and even that too with mode- 
ration. There are certain midnight par- 
ties, which Cato himself could not safely 
faU in with ; though I must confess at 
the same time, that Julius Caesar*, when 
he reproaches him upon that head, ex- 
alts the character he endeavours to ex- 
pose ; for he describes those persons who 
met this reeling patriot, as blushing when 
they discovered who he was ; and adds, 
you would have thought that Cato had 
detected them, and not they Cato. Could 
he place the dignity of Cato in a stronger 
light than by representing him thus ve- 
nerable, even in his cups ? As for our- 
selves, nevertheless, let temperance not 
only spread our table, but regulate our 



* Julius Caesar wrote an invective against 
Cato of Utica, to which, it is probable, Pliny 
here alludes. 



hours ; for we are not arrived at so Iiigh 
a reputation, that our enemies cannot 
censure us but to our honour. Farewell, 



LETTER XXVI. 

To Proculus. 

You desire me to read your poems in my 
retirement, and to examine whether 
they are fit for public view ; and after 
requesting me to turn some of my lei- 
sure hours from my own studies to yours, 
you remind me that Tully was remark- 
able for his generous encouragement and 
patronage of poetical geniuses. But you 
did not do me justice, if you supposed I 
wanted either intreaty or example upon 
this occasion, who not only honour the 
Muses with the most religious regard, 
but have also the warmest friendship fjpr 
yourself : 1 shall therefore do what you 
require, with as much pleasure as care. 
I believe I may venture to declare before- 
hand, that your performance is extremely 
beautiful, and ought by no means to be 
suppressed ; at least that was my opinion 
when I heard you recite it : if indeed 
your manner did not impose upon me : 
for the skill and harmony of your elo- 
cution is certainly enchanting. I trust, 
however, the charming cadence did not 
entirely overcome the force of my criti- 
cism ; it might possibly a little soften its 
severity, but could not totally, I imagine, 
disarm me of it. I think therefore I may 
now safely pronounce my opinion of 
your poems in general ; what they are in 
their several parts I shall judge when I 
read them. 



LETTER XXVII. 

To Nepos. 

I HAVE frequently observed, that, amongst 
the noble actions and remarkable say- 
ings of distinguished persons in either 
sex, those which have been most cele- 
brated have not always been the most 
illustrious ; and I am confirmed in this 
opinion, by a conversation I had yester- 
day with Fannia. This lady is grand- 
daughter to that celebrated Arria, who 
animated her husband to meet death by 
her own glorious example. She informed 
me of several particulars relating to Arria, 



58 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book 1. 



not less lieroical than this famous action 
of hers, though less taken notice of: 
which I am persuaded will raise your ad- 
miration as much as they did mine. Her 
husband Caecinna Pectus, and her son, 
were both at the same time iattacked with 
a dangerous illness, of which the son died. 
This youth, who had a most beautiful 
person and amiable behaviour, was not 
less endeared to his parents by his virtues 
than by the ties of affection. His mother 
manag-ed his funeral so privately, that 
Pectus did not know of his death. When- 
ever she came into his bed-chamber, she 
pretended her son was better : and as 
often as he inquired after his health, 
would answer that he had rested well, or 
had ate with an appetite. When she 
found she could no longer restrain her 
grief, but her tears were gushing out, 
she would leave the room, and having 
given vent to her passion, return again 
with dry eyes and a serene countenance, 
as if she had dismissed every sentiment of 
sorrow at her entrance. The action^ 
was, no doubt, truly noble, when draw- 
ing the dagger she plunged it in her 
breast, and then presented it to her hus- 
band with that ever memorable, I had al- 
most said, that divine expression, " Pgetus 
it is not painful." It must, however, be 
considered, when she spoke and acted 
thus, she had the prospect of immortal 
glory before her eyes to encourage and 
support her. But was it not something 
much greater, without the view, of such 
powerful motives, to hide her tears, to 
conceal her grief, and cheerfully seem 
the mother when she was so no more ? 

Scribonianus had taken up arms in II- 
lyria against Claudius, where having lost 
his life, Pectus, who was of his party, 
was brought prisoner to Rome. When 

* The story, as mentioned by several of the 
ancient historians, is to this purpose: Pfletus 
having joined Scribonianus, who was in arms in 
Illyria against Claudius, was taken after the 
death of the latter, and condemned to death. 
Arria, having in vain solicited his life, per- 
suaded liim to destroy himself, rather than 
suffer the ignominy of falling by the execu- 
tioner's hands j and in order to encourage 
him to an act, to which it seems he was not 
much inclined, she set him the example in 
•the manner Pliny relates. 

In a pleasure house belonging to the Villa 
Ludovisa at Rome there is a fine statue repre- 
senting the action : Paetus is stabbing himself 
with one hand, and holds up the dying Arria 
with the other. Her sinking body han'^s so 
loose, as if every joint were relaxed. 



they were going to put him on board a 
ship, Arria besought the soldiers that she 
might be permitted to go with him : 
Certainly, said she, you cannot refuse a 
man of consular dignity, as he is, a few 
slaves to wait upon him ; but if yoa will 
take me, I alone will perform their of- 
fice. This favour, however, she could 
not obtain ; upon which she hired a 
small fishing vessel, and boldly ventured 
to follow the ship. At her return to 
Rome, she met the wife of Scribonianus 
in the emperor's palace, who pressing 
her to discover all she knew of that in- 
surrection, What ! said she, shall I re- 
gard thy advice, who saw thy husband 
murdered even in thy very arms, and yet 
survivest him? An expression which 
plainly shews, that the noble manner in 
which she put an end to her life was no 
unpremeditated effect of sudden passion. 
When Thrasea, who married her daugh- 
ter, was dissuading her from her purpose 
of destroying herself, and, among other 
arguments which he used, said to her. 
Would you then advise your daughter 
to die with me, if my life were to be 
taken from me ? Most certainly I would, 
she replied, if she had lived as long and 
in as much harmony with you as I 
have with my Psetus. This answer 
greatly heightened the alarm of her fa- 
mily, and made them observe her for the 
future more narrowly, which when she 
perceived, she assured them all their 
caution would be to no purpose. You 
may oblige me, said she, to execute my 
resolution in a way that will give me 
more pain, but it is impossible you should 
prevent it. She had scarce said this, 
when she sprang from her chair, and 
running her head with the utmost vio- 
lence against the wall, she fell down, in 
appearance dead. But being brought to 
herself, I told you, said she, if you would 
not suffer me to take the easy paths to 
death, I should make my way to it 
through some more difficult passage. 
Now, is there not, my friend, something 
much greater in all this, than the so 
much talked of " Psetus, it is not pain- 
ful?" to which, indeed, it seems to have 
led the way : and yet this last is the fa- 
vourite topic of fame, while all the for- 
mer are passed over in profound silence. 
Whence I cannot but infer, what I ob- 
served in the beginning of my letter, that 
the most famous actions are not always 
the most noble. Farewell. 



Sect. 11. 



PLINY. 



59 



LETTER XXVIII. 

To Servianus. 

To what shall I attrihute your long si- 
lence ? Is it want of health, or want of 
leisure, that prevents your writing ? Or 
is it, perhaps, that you have no oppor- 
tunity of conveying your letters ? Free 
me, I in treat you, from the perplexity 
of these doubts ; for they are more, he 
assured, than I am able to support ; and 
do so, even though it be at the expense 
of an express messenger : 1 will gladly 
bear his charges, and even reward him 
too, should he bring me the news I wish. 
As for myself, 1 am well ; if that, with 
any propriety, can be said of a man who 
lives in the utmost suspense and anxiety, 
under the apprehensions of all the acci- 
dents which can possibly befal the friend 
he most tenderly loves. Farewell. 



LETTER XXIX. 

To Maximus. 

You remember, no doubt, to have read 
what commotions were occasioned by 
the law which directs that the elections 
of magistrates shall be by balloting, and 
how much the author* of it was both 
approved and condemned. Yet this very 
law the senate lately unanimously re- 
ceived, and upon the election day, with 
one consent, called for the ballots. It 
must be owned, the method by open votes 
had introduced into the senate more riot 
and disorder than is seen even in the 
assemblies of the people ; ail order in 
speaking, all decency of silence, all dig- 
nity of character, was broke through ; 
and it was universal dissonance and cla- 
mour ; here, the several candidates run- 
ning from side to side with their patrons ; 
there, a troop collected together in the 
middle of the senate-house ; and, in short, 
the whole assembly divided into separate 
I»arties, created the most indecent con- 



* The author of this law was one Gabinius, 
a tribune of the people, A. U. 614. It gave a 
very considerable blow to the influence of the 
nobility, as in this way of balloting it could 
not be discovered on which side the people 
gave their votes, and consequently took off 
that restraint they before lay under, by the 
fear of offending their superiors. 



fusion. Thus widely had we departed 
from the manners of our ancestors, who 
conducted these elections with a calmness 
and regularity suitable to the reverence 
which is due to the majesty of the senate. 
I have been infonned by some who re- 
member those times, that the method 
observed in their assemblies was this : the 
name of the person who offered himself 
for any office being called over, a pro- 
found silence ensued, v/hen immediately 
the candidate appeared, who, after he had 
spoken for himself, and given an account 
to the senate of his life and manners, 
called witnesses in support of his cha- 
racter. These were, either the person 
under whom he had served in the army, 
or to whom he had been quaestor, or 
both (if the case admitted of it) ; to whom 
he also joined some of those friends who 
espoused his interest. They delivered 
what they had to say in his favour in 
few words, but with great dignity ; and 
this had far more influence than the 
modern method of humble solicitation. 
Sometimes the candidate would object 
either to the birth, or age, or character 
of his competitor ; to which the senate 
would listen with a severe and impartial 
attention ; and thus was merit generally 
preferred to interest. But corruption 
having abused this wise institution of our 
ancestors, we were obliged to have re- 
course to the way of balloting, as the 
most probable remedy for this evil. The 
method being new, and immediately put 
in practice, it answered the present pur- 
pose very well : but, I am afraid, in pro- 
cess of time it vdll introduce new incon- 
veniences ; as this manner of balloting 
seems to afl^ord a sort of screen to injustice 
and partiality. For how few are there 
who preserve the same delicacy of con- 
duct in secret, as when exposed to the 
view of the world? The truth is, the 
generality of mankind revere Fame more 
than Conscience. But this, perhaps, 
may be pronouncing too hastily upon a 
future contingency : be it therefore as it 
may, we have in the mean time obtained 
by this method an election of such ma- 
gistrates as best deserved the honour. 
For it was with us as with those sort of 
judges who are named upon the spot ; 
we were taken before we had time to be 
biassed, and therefore determined im- 
partially. 

I have given you this detail, not only 
as a piece of news, but because I am glad 



60 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book L 



to seize every opportunity of speaking 
of the republic ; a subject, which as we 
have fewer occasions of mentioning than 
our ancestors, so we ought to be more 
careful not to let any of them slip. In 
good earnest, t am tired with repeating 
over and over the same compliments, 
How d'ye do ? and I hope you are well. 
Why should our letters for ever turn 
upon trivial and domestic concerns ? It 
is true, indeed, the direction of the pub- 
lic weal is in the hands of a single per- 
son, who, for the general good, takes 
upon himself solely to ease us of the care 
and weight of government ; but still that 
bountiful source of power permits, by a 
very generous dispensation, some streams 
to flow down to us ; and of these we 
may not only taste ourselves, but thus, 
as it were, administer them to our absent 
friends. Farewell. 



LETTER XXX. 

To Fabatus, 

You have long desired a visit from your 
grand-daughter* and myself. Nothing, 
be assured, could be more agreeable to 
us both ; for we equally wish to see you, 
and are determined to delay that plea- 
sure no longer. For this purpose, our 
baggage is actually making ready, and 
we are hastening to you with all the 
expedition the roads will permit. We 
shall stop only once, and that for a short 
time, intending to turn a little out of the 
way in order to go into Tuscany ; not 
for the sake of looking upon our estate 
and into our family concerns, for that we 
could defer to another opportunity ; but 
to perform an indispensable duty. There 
is a town near my estate, called Tifer- 
num-upon-the-Tiberf, which put itself 
under my patronage when I was yet a 
youth. These people enter extremely 
into my interest, celebrate my arrival 
among them, express the greatest con- 
cern when I leave them, and, in short, 
give every proof of an aflfection towards 
me, as strong as it is undeserved. That 
I may return their good offices (for what 
generous mind can bear to be excelled 
in acts of friendship ? ) I have built a 
temple in this place, at my own expense; 

* Caiphurnia, Pliny's wife, 
t Now Citta di Castello, 



and as it is finished, it would be a sort of 
impiety to omit the dedication of it any 
longer. We design, therefore, to be 
there on the day that ceremony is to be 
performed, and I have resolved to cele- 
brate it with a grand feast. We may 
possibly continue there all the next day, 
but we shall make so much the more ex- 
pedition upon the road. May we have the 
happiness to find you and your daughter 
in good health ! as I am sure we shall 
in good spirits, if you see us safely 
arrived. Farewell. 



LETTER XXXL 

To Clemens. 

Regulus has lost his son, and it is per- 
haps the only undeserved misfortune 
which could have befallen him ; for I 
much doubt whether he thinks it one. 
The boy was of a sprightly but ambi- 
guous turn ; however, he seemed capable 
enough of steering right, if he could have 
avoided splitting upon his father's exam- 
ple. Regulus gave him his freedom]:, 
in order to entitle him to the estate left 
him by his mother ; and when he got 
into possession of it, endeavoured (as the 
character of the man made it generally 
believed) to wheedle him out of it, by the 
most singular and indecent complaisance. 
This perhaps you will scarce think cre- 
dible ; but if you consider Regulus, you 
wiU not be long of that opinion. How- 
ever, he now expresses his concern for the 
loss of this youth in a most outrageous 
manner. The boy had a great number 
of little coach and saddle horses ; dogs 
of diiferent sorts, together with parrots, 
blackbirds, and nightingales § in abun- 
dance ; all these Regulus slew || round 

% The Romans had an absolute power over 
their children, of which no age or station of 
the latter deprived them. 

§ This bird was much esteemed among nice 
eaters, and was sold at a high price. Horace 
mentions, as an instance of great extravagance, 
two brothers who used to dine upon them : 

2uinti progenies Arri, par nobile fratrum — 

Luscinias soliti impenso prandere co'e'mtas. 

L. 2. Sat. 3. 

A noble pair of brothers — 

On nightingales of monstrous purchase din'd. 
Mu. Francis. 

II From an unaccountable notion that pre- 
vailed among the ancients, that the ghosts de- 
lighted in blood, itwas customary to kill a great 



Sect. II. 



PLINY. 



ei 



the funeral pile of his son, in the osten- 
tation of an affected grief. He is visited 
upon this occasion hy a surprising num- 
ber of people, who though they secretly 
detest and abhor him, yet are as assiduous 
in their attendance upon him, as if they 
were influenced by a principle of real 
esteem and affection : or, to speak my 
sentiments in few words, they endeavour 
to recommend themselves to his favour 
by following his example. He has retired 
to his villa across the Tiber ; where he 
has covered a vast extent of ground with 
his porticos, and crowded all the shore 
with his statues : for he blends prodi- 
gality with covetousness, and vain-glory 
with infamy. By his continuing there, 
he lays his visitors under the great incon- 
venience of coming to him at this un- 
wholesome season ; and he seems to con- 
sider the trouble they put themselves to, 
as a matter of consolation. He gives 
out, with his usual absurdity, that he de- 
signs to marry. You must expect, there- 
fore, to hear shortly of the wedding of a 
man opprest with sorrow and years ; that 
is, of one who marries both too soon and 
too late. Do you ask me why I conjec- 
ture thus ? Certainly, not because he af- 
firms it himself (for never was there so 
infamous a liar), but because there is no 
doubt that Regulus will do every thing 
he ought not. Farewell. 



as difficult as it is great : yet these un- 
common qualities you have most happily 
united in those wonderful charms, which 
not only grace your conversation, but 
particularly distinguish your writings. 
Your lips, like the venerable old man's 
in Homer*, drop honey, and one would 
imagine the bee had diffused her sweet- 
ness over all you compose. These were 
the sentiments I had when I lately read 
your Greek epigrams and satires. What 
elegance, what beauties shine in this col- 
lection ! how sweetly the numbers flow, 
and how exactly are they wrought up in 
the true spirit of the ancients ! What a 
vein of wit runs through every line, and 
how conformable is the whole to the 
rules of just criticism ! I fancied I had 
got in my hands Callimachus or Hesiod; 
or, if possible, some poet even superior 
to these ; though indeed neither of those 
authors excelled, as you have, in both 
those species of poetry. Is it pospble, 
that a Roman can write Greek in so 
much perfection ? I protest I do not be- 
lieve Athens herself can be more Attic. 
To own the truth, I cannot but envy 
Greece the honour of your preference. 
And since yon can write thus elegantly 
in a foreign language, it is past conjec- 
ture what you could have performed in 
your own. Farewell, 



LETTER XXXII. 

To Antoninus. 

That you have twice enjoyed the dig- 
nity of consul, with a conduct equal to 
that of our most illustrious ancestors ; 
that few (your modesty will not suffer 
me to say none) ever have, or ever will 
come up to the integrity and wisdom of 
your Asiatic administration : that in vir- 
tue, in authority, and even in years, you 
are the first of Romans ; these, most 
certainly, are shining and noble parts of 
your character ; nevertheless, I own it 
is in your retired hours that I most ad- 
mire you. To season the severity of 
business with the sprightliness of wit, 
and to temper wisdom with politeness, is 

number of beasts, and throw them on the fune- 
ral pile. In the more ignorant and barbarous 
ages, men were the unhappy victims of this 
horrid rite. 



LETTER XXXIII. 



To Naso. 



A STORM of hail, I am informed, has 
destroyed all the produce of my estate 
in Tuscany; whilst that which I have 
on the other side the Po, though it has 
proved extremely fruitful this season, 
yet from the excessive cheapness of every 
thing, turns to small account. Lauren- 
tinum is the single possession which 
yields me any advantage. I have no- 
thing there, indeed, but a house and gar- 
dens ; all the rest is barren sands ; still, 
however, my best productions rise at 
Laurentinum. It is there I cultivate, if 



H8u£7r>jf avapovas, Ktyog HbKiwv ayaprinrig, 
Tou xa< aTTo y'Kwacrr\g fieXiTog yKvxiwv peev auSjj. 

II. i. 247. 

Experienc'd Nestor, in persuasion skilPd ; 
Words sweet as honey from his lips distill'd. 

Pops. 



62 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book L 



not my lapds, at least my mind, and 
form many a composition. As in other 
places I can shew you full barns, so 
there I can entertain 5^ou with good store 
of the literary kind. Let me advise you 
then, if you wish for a never-failing re- 
venue, to purchase something upon this 
contemplative coast. Farewell. 



LETTER XXXIV. 

To Lepidus. 

I HAVE often told you that Regulus is 
a man of spirit ; whatever he engages 
in, he is sure to execute it in a most ex- 
traordinary manner. He chose lately to 
be extremely concerned for the loss of 
his son: accordingly he mourned for him 
in a way which no man ever mourned 
before. He took it into his head that he 
would have several statues and represen- 
tations of him ; immediately all the arti- 
sans in Rome are set to work. Colours, 
wax, brass, silver, ivory, marble, all 
exhibit the figure of young Regulus. 
Not long ago he read, before a numerous 
audience, a panegyric upon the life of 
his son : a large book upon the life of a 
boy ! then a thousand transcribers were 
employed to copy this curious anecdote, 
which he dispersed all over the empire. 
He wrote likewise a sort of circular let- 
ter to the several Decurii, to desire they 
would choose out one of their order who 
had a strong clear voice, to read this eu- 
logy to the people ; and I am informed 
it has been done accordingly. Had this 
spirit (or whatever else you will call an 
earnestness in executing all one under- 
takes) been rightly applied, what infi- 
nite good might it have produced ! The 
misfortune is, this active cast is generally 
strongest in men of vicious characters : 
for as ignorance begets rashness, and 
knowledge inspires caution ; so modesty 
is apt to depress and weaken the great 
and well-formed genius, whilst boldness 
supports and strengthens low and little 
minds. Regulus is a strong proof of the 
truth of this observation ; he has a 
weak voice, an awkward address, a 
thick speech, a slow imagination, and 
no memory ; in a word, he has nothing 
but an extravagant genius : and yet by 
the assistance of this flighty turn and 
much impudence, he passes with many 



for a finished orator. Herennius Sene- 
cio reversed Cato's definition of an ora- 
tor"*, and applied it with great justness 
to Regulus : An orator, said he, is a 
bad man unskilled in the art of speaking. 
And, in good earnest, Cato's definition 
is not a more exact description of a true 
orator, than Senecio's is of the character 
of this man. Would you make a suit- 
able return to this letter, let me know 
if you, or any of my friends in your 
town have with an air of pleasantry 
mouthed (as Demosthenes calls it) this 
melancholy piece to the people, like a 
stroller in the market-place. For so 
absurd a performance must move rather 
laughter than compassion ; and indeed 
the composition is as puerile as the sub- 
ject. Farev/ell. 



LETTER XXXV. 

To Cornelius Tacitus. 

I REJOICE that you are safely arrived in 
Rome ; for though I am always desirous 
to see you, I am more particularly so 
now. I purpose to continue a few days 
longer at my house at Tusculum, in 
order to finish a work which I have upon 
my hands. For I am afraid, should I 
put a stop to this design now that it is so 
nearly completed, I shall find it difficult 
to resume it. In the mean while, that I 
may lose no time, I send this letter be- 
fore me, to request a favour of you, which 
I hope shortly to ask in person. But 
before I inform you what my request is, 
I must let you into the occasion of it. 
Being lately at Comum, the place of my 
nativity, a young lad, son to one of my 
neighbours, made me a visit. I asked 
him whether he studied oratory, and 
where ? He told me he did, and at Me- 
diolanumf. And why not here? Be- 
cause (said his father, who came with 
him) we have no masters. " No ! (said 
I), surely it nearly concerns you who 
are fathers (and very opportunely se- 
veral of the company were so) that 
your sons should receive their educa- 
tion here, rather than any where else. 

* Cato, as we learn from Nonius, composed 
a treatise upon rhetoric, for the use of his son, 
wherein he defined an orator to be, A good 
man skilled in the art of speaking. 

f Milan. 



Sect. II. 



PLINY. 



63 



For where can they be placed more 
agreeably than in their own country, 
or instructed with more safety and less 
expense than at home and under the 
€ye of their parents ? Upon what very 
easy terms might you, by a general 
contribution, procure proper masters, 
if you would only apply towards the 
raising a salary for them, tlie extraor- 
dinary expense it costs you for your 
sons' journeys, lodgings, and whatever 
else you pay for upon account of their 
being abroad ; as pay, indeed, you 
must in such a case for every thing. 
Though I have no children myself, yet 
I shall willingly contribute to a design 
so beneficial to (what I look upon as 
a child or a parent) my country ; and 
therefore I will advance a third part 
of any sum you shall think proper to 
raise for this purpose. I would take 
upon myself the whole expense, were 
I not apprehensive that my benefaction 
might hereafter be abused and per- 
verted to private ends ; as I have ob- 
served to be the case in several places 
where public foundations of this nature 
have been established. The single 
means to prevent this mischief is, to 
leave the choice of the masters entirely 
in the breast of the parents, who will 
be so much the more careful to de- 
termine properly, as they shall be 
obliged to share the expense of main- 
taining them. For though they may 
be careless in disposing of another's 
bounty, they will certainly be cautious 
how they apply their own ; and will 
see that none but those who deserve it 
shall receive my money, when they 
must at the same time receive theirs 
too. Let my example then encourage 
you to unite heartily in this useful de- 
sign ; and be assured the greater the 
sum my share shall amount to, the 
more agreeable it will be to me. You 
can undertake nothing that will be more 
advantageous to your children, nor more 
acceptable to your country. They will 
by this means receive their education 
where they receive their birth, and be 
accustomed from their infancy to in- 
habit and affect their native soil. May 
you be able to procure professors of 
such distinguished abilities, that the 
neighbouring towns shall be glad to 
draw their learning from hence ; and 
as you now send your children to 
foreigners for education, may foreigners 



in their turn flock hither for their in- 
struction." 

I thought proper thus to lay open to 
you the rise of this affair, that you 
might be the more sensible how agree- 
able it will be to me, if you undertake 
the office I request. I intreat you, 
therefore, with all the earnestness a 
matter of so much importance deserves, 
to look out, amongst the great numbers 
of men of letters which the reputation 
of your genius brings to you, proper 
persons to whom we may apply for this 
purpose ; but without entering into any 
agreement with them on my part. For 
I would leave it entirely free to the pa- 
rents to judge and choose as they shall 
see proper : all the share I pretend to 
claim is, that of contributing my care 
and my money. If, therefore, any one 
shall be found who thinks himself quali- 
fied for the undertaking, he may repair 
thither ; but without relying upon any 
thing but his merit. Farewell. 



LETTER XXXVI. 
To Valerius Paulinus. 

Rejoice with me, my friend, not only 
upon my account, but your own, and 
that of the public ; for eloquence is still 
held in honour. Being lately engaged 
to plead in a cause before the Centum- 
viri, the crowd was so great that I could 
not get to my place, but in passing by 
the tribunal where the judges sat. And 
I have this pleasing circumstance to add 
farther, that a young nobleman, having 
lost his robe in the press, stood in his 
vest to hear me for seven hours to- 
gether : for so long I was speaking ; 
and with a success equal to my great 
fatigue. Come on then, my friend, and 
let us earnestly pursue our studies, nor 
screen our own indolence under pre- 
tence of that of the public. Never, we 
may rest assured, will there be wanting 
hearers and readers, so long as we can 
supply them with orators and authors 
worthy of their attention. Farewell. 



^4 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book 1. 



LETTER XXXVn. 

To Galium. 

You acquaint me that Coecilius, the 
consul elect, has commenced a suit 
against Correllia, and earnestly beg- me 
to undertake her cause in her absence. 
As I have reason to thank you for your 
information, so I have to complain of 
your intreaties : without the first, indeed, 
I should have been ignorant of this affair, 
but the last was unnecessary, as I want 
no solicitations to comply, where it would 
be ungenerous in me to refuse ; for can 
I hesitate a moment to take upon myself 
the protection of a daughter of Correl- 
lius } It is true, indeed, though there is 
no particular intimacy between her ad- 
versary and me, we are, however, upon 
good terms. It is true likewise, that he 
is a person of great rank, and who has a 
claim to particular regard from me, as he 
is entering upon an office which I have 
had the honour to fill ; and it is natural 
for a man to be desirous those dignities 
should be treated with the highest re- 
spect, which he himself once possessed. 
Yet these considerations have little 
weight, when I reflect that it is the 
daughter of Correllius whom I am to de- 
fend. The memory of that excellent 
person, than whom this age has not pro- 
duced a man of greater dignity, rectitude, 
and good sense, is indelibly impressed 
upon my mind. I admired him before I 
was acquainted with him ; and, contrary 
to what is usually the case, my esteem 
increased in proportion as I knew him 
better : and indeed I knew him tho- 
roughly, for he treated me v»^ithout re- 
serve, and admitted me to share in his 
joys and his sorrows, in his gay and his 
serious hours. When I was but a youth, 
he esteemed, and (I will even venture to 
say) revered me as if I had been his 
equal. When I solicited any post of ho- 
nour, he supported me with his interest, 
and recommended me by his testimony : 
when I entered upon it, he was my in- 
troducer and my attendant : when I exer- 
cised it, he was my guide and my counsel- 
lor. In a word, wherever my interest 
was concerned, he exerted himself with 
as much alacrity as if he had been in all 
his health and vigour. In private, in 
public, and at court, how often has he 
advanced and supported my reputation ! 
It happened once, that the conversation 



before the emperor Nerva turned upon 
the hopeful young men of that time, and 
several of the company were pleased to 
mention me with applause : he sat for a 
little while silent, which gave what he 
said the greater weight ; and then with 
that air of dignity, to which you are no 
stranger, I must be reserved, said he, in 
my praises of Pliny, because he does 
nothing without my advice. By wjiich 
single sentence he gave me a greater 
character than I would presume even to 
wish for, as he represented my conduct 
to be always such as wisdom must ap- 
prove, since it was wholly under the di- 
rection of one of the wisest of men. 
Even in his last moments he said to his 
daughter (as she often mentions), I have 
in the course of a long life raised up 
many friends to you ; but there is none 
that you may more assuredly depend 
upon, than Pliny and Cornutus. A cir- 
cumstance I cannot reflect upon, without 
being deeply sensible how much it is in- 
cumbent upon me, to endeavour to act up 
to the opinion so excellent a judge of 
mankind conceived of me. I shall there- 
fore most readily give my assistance to 
Correllia in this afl'air ; and willingly 
hazard any displeasure I may incur by 
appearing in her cause. Though I should 
imagine, if in the course of my pleadings 
I should find an opportunity to explain 
and enforce, more at large than I can do 
in a letter, the reasons I have here men- 
tioned, upon which I rest at once my 
apology and my glory ; her adversary 
(whose suit may perhaps, as you say, be 
entirely vmprecedented, as it is against a 
woman) wiU not only excuse, but ap- 
prove my conduct. Farewell. 

LETTER XXXVIII. 

, To HispuUa. 

As you are an exemplary instance of 
tender regard to your family in general, 
and to your late excellent brother in par- 
ticular, whose affection you returned 
with an equal warmth of sentiment ; 
and have not only shewn the kindness 
of an aunt, but supplied the loss of a ten- 
der parent to his daughter*, you wiU 
hear, I am well persuaded, with infinite 
pleasure, that she behaves worthy of her 
father, her grandfather, and yourself. 

* Calphuri^ia, Pliny's wife. 



Sbct. U. 



PLINY. 



65 



She possesses an excellent understanding, 
together with a consummate prudence, 
and gives the strongest testimony of the 
purity of her heart by her fondness of 
me. Her affection to me has given her 
a turn to books ; and my compositions, 
which she takes a pleasure in reading, 
and even getting by heart, are conti- 
nually in her hands. How full of tender 
solicitude is she when I am entermg upon 
any cause ! How kmdly does she rejoice 
with me when it is over ! WliUe I am 
pleading, she places persons to inform 
her from time to time how I am heard, 
what applauses I receive, and what suc- 
cess attends the cause. When at any 
time I recite my works, she conceals her- 
self behind some ciu'tain, and with secret 
rapture enjoys my praises. She sings my 
verses to her lyre, with no other master 
but love, the best instructor, for her 
guide. From these happy circumstances 
I draw my most assured liOpeS;, that the 
harmony between us v/iU increase with 
our days, and be as lasting as our lives. 
For it is not my youth or my person, 
which time gTadually impairs ; it is my 
reputation and my glory of which she is 
enamoured. But what less coidd be ex- 
pected from one who was trained by your 
hands, and formed by your instructions ; 
who was early familiarised under your 
roof with all that is worthy and amiable, 
and was first taught to conceive an affec- 
tion for me, by the advantageous colours 
in which you were pleased to represent 
me ? And as you revered my mother with 
all the respect due even to ^ parent, so 
you kindly directed and encouraged my 
infancy, presaging of me from that early 
period aU that my viife now fondly 
imagines I really am. Accept therefore 
of our mutual thanks, that you have 
thus, as it were designedly, formed us 
for each other. Farewell. 

LETTER XXXIX. 

To Maximus. 

I HAVE already acquainted you with my 
opinion of each particular part of your 
work, as I perused it ; I must now teU 
you my general thoughts of the whole. 
It is a strong and beautiful perfonnance ; 
the sentiments are sublime and mascu- 
line, and conceived in aU the variety of 
a pregnant imagination; the diction is 
chaste and elegant ; the figures are hap- 



pily chosen, and a copious and diffusive 
vein of eloquence runs through the whole, 
and raises a very high idea of the author. 
You seem borne away by the full tide of 
a strong imagination and deep sorrow, 
which mutually assist and heighten each 
other ; for your genius gives sublimity 
and majesty to your passion : and your 
passion adds strength and poignancy to 
your genius. Farewell. 

LETTER XL. 

To Velius Cerealis. 

How severe a fate has attended the 
daughters of Helvidius ! These two sisters 
are both dead in child-bed, after having 
each of them been delivered of a girl. 
This misfortime pierces me with the 
deepest sorrow ; as indeed, to see two 
such amiable young ladies fall a sacrifice 
to their fruitfuhiess, in the pume and 
flower of their years, is a misfortune 
which 1 cannot too greatly lament. I 
lament for the unhappy condition of the 
poor infants, who are thus become or- 
phans from their birth : I lament for the 
sake of the disconsolate husbands of these 
ladies ; and I lament too for my own. 
The affection I bear to the memory of 
their late father is inviolable, as my de- . 
fence of him in the senate, and all my 
writings, will witness for me. Of three 
children which survived him, there now 
remains but one ; and his family, tliat had 
lately so many noble supports, rests only 
upon a single person ! It will however be 
a great mitigation of my afiliction, if for- 
tune shall kindly spare that one, and ren- 
der him worthy of his father and grand- 
father * : and I am so much the more 
anxious for his welfare and good conduct, 
as he is the only branch of the family 
remaining. You know the softness and 
solicitude, of my heart where I have any 
tender attachments ; you must not won- 

* The famous Helvidius Priscus, who signa- 
lized himself in the senate by the freedom of 
his speeches in favoiu- of libert)'-, during the 
reigns of Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespa- 
sian ', in whose time he was put to death by the 
order of the senate, though contrary to the in- 
clination of the emperor, who countermanded 
the execution : but it was too late, the execu- 
tioner having performed his office before the 
messenger arrived. Tacitus represents him as 
acting in all the various duties of social life 
with one consistent tenor of uniform virtue; 
superior to all temptations of wealth, of inflex- 
ible integrity, and unbroken courage. 



66 



ELEGANT EPISTLES, 



Book I, 



der then that I have many fears where I 
have great hopes. Farewell. 

LETTER XLL 

To Valens. 

Being engaged lately in a cause before 
the Centumviri, it occurred to me that 
when I was a youth I was also concerned 
in one which passed through the same 
courts. I coidd not forbear, as usual, 
t6 pursue the reflection my mind had 
started, and to consider if there were 
any of those advocates then present, who 
were joined with me in the former cause ; 
but I found I was the only person re- 
maining who had been counsel in both : 
such changes does the instability of hu- 
man nature, or the vicissitudes of fortune, 
produce ! Death had removed some ; ba- 
nishment others ; age and infirmities had 
silenced those, while these were with- 
drawn to enjoy the happiness of retire- 
ment ; one was at the head of an army ; 
and the indulgence of the prince had ex- 
empted another from the burthen of civil 
employments. What turns of fortune 
have I experienced even in my own per- 
son ! It was eloquence that first raised 
me ; it was eloquence that occasioned my 
disgrace ; and it was eloquence that ad- 
vanced me again. The friendships of the 
wise and good, at my first appearance in 
the world, were highly serviceable to 
me ; the same friendships proved after- 
ward extremely prejudicial to my interest ; 
and now again they are my ornament and 
support. If you compute the time in 
which these incidents have happened, it 
is but a few years ; if you number the 
events, it seems an age. A lesson that 
will teach us to check both our despair 
and presumption, when we observe such 
a variety of revolutions roll round in so 
swift and narrow a circle. It is my cus- 
tom to communicate to my friend all my 
thoughts, and to set before him the same 
rules and examples by which I regulate 
my own conduct ; and such was my de- 
iiign in this letter. Farewell. 

LETTER XLII. 

To Maximus. ' 
I MENTIONED to you in a former letter, 
that I apprehended the method of voting 
by ballots would be attended with in"^ 
iBonveniences ; and so it has proved. At 



the last election of magistrates, upon 
some of the tablets were Avritten several 
pieces of pleasantry, and even indecen- 
cies ; in one particularly, instead of the 
name of the candidate, were inserted the 
names of those who espoused his interest. 
The senate was extremely exasperated at 
this insolence ; and with one voice threat- 
ened the vengeance of the emperar upon 
the author. But he lay concealed, and 
possibly might be in the number of those 
who expressed the greatest indignation. 
What must one think of such a man's 
private conduct, who in public, upon so 
important an affair, and at so solemn a 
time, could indulge himself in such scur- 
rilous liberties, and dare to act the droU 
in the face of the senate ? Who will know 
it? is the argument that prompts little 
and base minds to commit these indecen- 
cies. Secure from being discovered by 
others, and unawed by any self-respect, 
they take their pen and tablets ; and 
hence arise these buffooneries, which are 
fit only for the stage. What course shall 
we take, what remedy apply against this 
abuse ? Our disorders indeed in general 
have everywhere eluded all attempts to 
restrain them. But this is a point much 
too high for us, and will be the care of 
that superior power, who by these low 
but daring insults has daily fresh occa- 
sions of exerting all his pains and vigi- 
lance. Farewell. 

LETTER XLIII. 

To Nepos, 

The request you make me to supervise 
the correction of my works, which you 
have taken the pains to collect, I shall 
most willingly comply with ; as indeed 
there is nothing I ought to do with more 
readiness, especially at your instance. 
When a man of such dignity, learning, 
and eloquence, deeply engaged in busi- 
ness, and entering upon the important 
government of a province, has so good 
an opinion of my works as to think 
them worth taking with him, how am I 
obliged to endeavour that this part of 
his baggage may not seem an useless 
embarrassment ! My first care therefore 
shall be, that they may attend you with 
all the advantages possible ; and my next, 
to supply you at your return with others, 
which you may not think undeserving to 
be added to them ; for I can have no 



Sect. II. 



PLINY. 



67 



strong-er encouragement to enter upon 
some new work, than being* assured of 
finding a reader of your taste and dis- 
cernment. Farewell. 



LETTER XLIV. 

To Liciniiis. 

i HAVE brought you as a present out of 
the country, a query which well de- 
serves the consideration of your extensive 
erudition. There is a spring which rises 
in a neighbouring mountain, and run- 
ning among the rocks is received into a 
little banqueting-room, from whence, 
after being detained a short time, it 
falls into the Larian lake. The nature 
of this spring is extremely surprising : 
it ebbs and flows regularly three times a 
day. This increase and decrease is 
plainly visible, and very entertaining to 
observe. You sit down by the side of 
the fountain, and whilst you are taking 
a repast, and drinking its water, which 
is extremely cool, you see it gradually 
rise and fall. If you place a ring, or any 
thing else at the bottom when it is dry, 
the stream reaches it by degrees till it is 
entirely covered, and then again gently 
retires from it ; and this you may see it 
do for three times successively. Shall 
we say, that some secret current of air 
stops and opens the fountain-head, as it 
advances to or recedes from it ; as we 
see in bottles and other vessels of that 
nature, where there is not a free and 
open passage, though you turn their 
necks downwards, yet the outward air 
obstructing the vent, they discharge their 
contents as it were by starts ? Or may it 
not be accounted for upon the same prin- 
ciple as the flux and reflux of the sea? 
or, as those rivers, which discharge 
themselves into the sea, meeting with 
contrary winds and the swell of the 
ocean, are forced back in their channels ; 
so may there not be something that 
checks this fountain, for a time, in its 
progress? or is there rather a certain 
reservoir that contains these waters in 
the bowels of the earth, which while it 
is recruiting its discharges, the stream 
flows more slowly and in less quantity, 
but when it has collected its due mea- 
sure, it runs again into its usual strength 
and fulness? or lastly, is there not I 
know not what kind of subterraneous 
poise, tliat throws up the water when the 



fountain is dry, and repels it when it is 
full ? You, who are so well qualified for 
the inquiry, will examine the reasons of 
this wonderful appearance * ; it will be 
sufficient for me if I have given you a 
clear description of it. Farewell. 

LETTER XLV. 

To Maximus, 

I A^i deeply afflicted with the news I 
have received of the death of Fannius, 
not only as I have lost in him a friend 
whose eloquence and politeness I ad- 
mired, but a guide whose judgment I 
pursued ; and indeed he possessed a most 
penetrating genius, improved and quick- 
ened by great experience. There are 
some circumstances attending his death, 
which aggravate my concern : he left be- 
hind him a will which had been made a 
considerable time, by which it happens 
his estate has fallen into the hands of 
those who had incurred his displeasure, 
while his greatest favourites have no 
share of it. But what I particularly re- 
gi-et is, that he has left unfinished a very 
noble work in which he was engaged. 
Notwithstanding his full employment at 
the bar, he had undertaken a history of 
those persons who had been put to death 
or banished by Nero ; of which he had 
perfected three books. They are written 
with great delicacy and exactness : the 
style is pure, and preserves a proper 
medium between the plain narrative and 
the historical : and as they were very fa- 
vourably received by the public, he was 
the more desirous of being able to com- 
plete the rest. The hand of death, is 
ever, in my estimation, too severe and 
too sudden when it falls upon such as are 
employed in some immortal work. The 
sons of sensuality, wlio have no views 
beyond the present hour, terminate with 
each day the whole purpose of their lives ; 
but those who look forward to posterity, 
and endeavour to extend their memories 
to future generations by useful labours : 
to such, death is always immature, as it 
still snatches them from amidst some 
unfinished design. Fannius, long before 

* There are several of these peviodical foun- 
tains in different parts of the world ; as we 
have some in England. Lay-well near 'forbay 
is mentioned in the Philosophical Transactions 
(No. 104, p. r09.) to ebb and flow several 
times everv hour. 

F 2 



6S 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book L 



his death, had a strong presentiment of 
what has happened : he dreamed one 
night, that as he was in his study with 
his papers before him. Nero came in, 
and placing liimself by his side, took up 
the three first books of his history, which 
he read through, and then went away. 
Tliis di'eam greatly alarmed him, and he 
looked upon it as an intimation that he 
should not carry on his history any far- 
ther than Nero had read : and so the 
event proved. I cannot reflect upon 
this accident without lamenting tliat he 
should not be able to accomplish a work, 
which had cost liim so much pains and 
vigilance, as it suggests to me at the 
same time the thoughts of my own mor- 
tality-, and the fate of my writings : and 
I am persuaded the same reflection 
alaiTus your apprehensions for those in 
wliich you are employed. Let us then, 
my friend, while yet we live, exert all 
our endeavours, that death, whenever it 
arrives, may find as little as possible to 
destroy. Farewell. 

LETTER XLVL 

To Capito. 

You are not singular in the advice you 
give me to imdertake the writing of 
history ; it is a work which has been 
frequently pressed upon me by several 
others of my friends ; and what I have 
some thoughts of engaging in. Not that 
I have any confidence of succeeding in 
this way ; that would be too rashly pre- 
suming upon the success of an experi- 
ment vrhich I have never yet made : but 
because it is a noble employment to res- 
cue from oblivion those who deserve to 
be eternally remembered, and extend the 
reputation of others at the same time that 
we advance our own. Nothing, I con- 
fess, so strongly affects me as the desire 
of a lasting name : a passion highly 
worthy of the himian breast, especially 
of one who, not being conscious to him- 
self of any iU, is not afraid of being 
known to posterity. It is the continual 
subject therefore of my thoughts, 

Hy what fair deed I too may raise my name* j 

for to that I moderate my >vishes ; the 
rest, 

And gather round the world immortal fame, 

Ls much beyond my hopes : 

* Virgil 1 Georg. sub. init. 



"Though yetf" However, the 

first is sufficient, and history perhaps is 
the single means that can ensure it to me. 
Oraton- and poetry, unless carried to the 
liighest point of eloquence, are talents 
but of small recommendation to those 
who possess them ; but history, however 
executed, is always entertaining. Man- 
kind are naturally inquisitive, and are so 
fond of having this iiirn gratified, that 
they will listen with attention to the 
plainest matter of fact, and the most idle 
tale. But besides this, I have an example 
in my own family that inclines me to 
engage in this study, my uncle and 
adoptive father having acquired great 
reputation as a very accurate historian ; 
and the philosophers, you know, recom- 
mend it to us to tread in the steps of our 
ancestors, when they have gone before us 
in the right path. If you ask me then, 
why I do not immediately enter upon 
the task ? my reason is this : I have 
pleaded some verj' important causes, and 
(though I am not extremely sanguine in 
my hopes concerning' them) I have de- 
termined to revise my speeches, lest, for 
want of this remaining labour, all the 
pplns they cost me should be throvvn 
away, and they with their author be bu- 
ried in oblivion ; for with respect to pos- 
terity, the work that was never finished 
was never begim. You ^vill think, per- 
haps, I might correct my pleadings and 
write history at the same time. I wish 
indeed I were capable of doing so ; but 
they are both such great undertakings, 
that either of them is abundantly suf- 
ficient. I was but nineteen when I first 
appeared at the bar ; and yet it is only 
now at last I imderstand (and that in 
truth but imperfectly) what is essential 
to a complete orator. How then shall I 
be able to support the weight of an ad- 
ditional burthen ? It is true indeed, his- 
tory and oratory have in many points a 
general resemblance ; yet in those very 
things in which they seem to agree, 
there are several circumstances wherein 
they differ. Narration is common to 
tliem both, but it is a narration of a dis- 
tinct kind : the fonner contents itself fre- 
quently with low and vidgar facts ; the 

f Part of a verse from the fifth jEneid, 
where Mnestheus, one of the competitors in 
the naval games, who was in some danj,'er 
of being distanced, exhorts his men to exert 
their utmost vigour to prevent such a dis- 
grace. 



Sect. II. 



P L I N Y. 



69 



latter requires every thing splendid, ele- 
vated, and extraordinary ; strength and 
nerves is sufficient in that, but beauty and 
ornament is essential to this : tlie excellen- 
cy of the one consists in a strong, severe, 
and close style ; of the other, in a diflPu- 
sive, flowing, and harmonious narration : 
m short, the words, the emphasis, and the 
whole turn and structure of the periods, 
are extremely different in these two arts ; 
for, as Thucydides observes, there is a 
wide distance between compositions 
which are calculated for a present pur- 
pose, and those which are designed to re- 
main as lasting monuments to posterity ; 
by the first of v/liich expressions he al- 
ludes to oratory, and by the other to 
history. For these reasons I am not in- 
clined to blend together two perform- 
ances of such distinct natures, which, as 
they are both of the highest rank, neces- 
sarily therefore require a separate atten- 
tion ; lest, confounded by a crowd of 
different ideas, I should introduce into 
the one what is only proper to the other. 
Therefore (to speak in our language of 
the bar) I must beg leave the cause may 
be adjourned some time longer. In the 
mean while, I refer it to your considera- 
tion from what period I shall commence 
my history. Shall I take it up from 
those remote times which have been 
treated of already by others ? In this way, 
indeed, the materials will be ready pre- 
pared to my hands, but the collating of 
the several historians will be extremely 
troublesome ; or shall I write only of the 
present times, and those wherein no other 
author has gone before me ? If so, I may 
probably give offence to many, and please 
but few. For, in an age so overrun with 
vice, you will find infinitely more to con- 
demn than approve ; yet your praise, 
though ever so lavish, will be thought too 
reserved ; and your censure, though ever 
so cautious, too i3rofuse. However, this 
does not at aU discourage me ; for I want 
not sufficient resolution to bear testimony 
to truth. I expect then that you pre- 
pare the way which you have pointed 
out to me, and determine what subject I 
shall fix upon for my history, that when 
I am ready to enter upon the task you 
have assigned me, I may not be delayed 
by any new difficulty. Farewell. 



LETTER XLVII. 

To Saturninus. 

Your letter made very different im- 
pressions upon me, as it brought me 
news which I both rejoiced and grieved 
to receive. It gave me a pleasure when it 
informed me you were detained in Rome ; 
which though you will tell me is a cir- 
cmnstance that affords you none, yet I 
cannot but rejoice at it, since you assure 
me you continue there upon my account, 
and defer the recital of your work till 
my return, for which I am greatly obliged 
to you. But I was much concerned at 
that part of your letter which men- 
tioned the dangerous illness of Julius 
Valens ; though, indeed, with respect to 
himself it ought to affect me with other 
sentiments, as it cannot but be for his 
advantage the sooner he is relieved by 
death from a distemper of which there is 
no hope he can ever be cured. But what 
you add concerning Avitus, who died 
in his return from the province where he 
had been qusestor, is an accident that 
justly demands our sorrow. That he 
died on board a ship, at a distance from 
his brother whom he tenderly loved, 
and from his mother and sisters, are cir- 
cumstances, which though they cannot 
affect him now, yet undoubtedly did in 
his last moments, as well as tend to 
heighten the affliction of those he has 
left behind. How severe is the reflection, 
that a youth of his weU-formed disposi- 
tion should be extinct in the prime of 
life, and snatched from those high ho- 
nours to which his virtues, had they been 
permitted to grow to their full maturity, 
would certainly have raised him ! How 
did his bosom glow with the love of the 
fine arts ! How many books has he 
perused ! How many volumes has he 
transcribed ! But the fruits of his labours 
are now perished with him, and for ever 
lost to posterity. — Yet why indulge my 
sorrow ? a passion which, if we once give 
a loose to it, will aggravate every the 
slightest circumstance. 1 will put an end 
therefore to my letter, that I may to the 
tears which yours has drawn from me. 
Farewell. 

LETTER XLVIII. 

To Marcellinus. 

I WRITE this to you under the utmost 
oppression of sorrow : the youngest 



70 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I, 



daughter of my friend Fimdanus is dead ? 
Never surely was there a more agreeable 
and more amiable young person, or one 
who better deserved to have enjoyed a 
long, I had ahnost said an immortal life ! 
She was scarce fourteen, and yet had all 
the wisdom of age and discretion of a 
matron, joined with youthful sv/eetness 
and virgin modesty. With what an en- 
gaging fondness did she behave to her 
father ! How kindly and respectfully re- 
ceive his friends ! How affectionately treat 
all those who in their respective offices 
had the care and education of her ! She 
employed much of her time in reading, 
in which she discovered great strength 
of judgment ; she indulged herself in few 
diversions, and those with much caution. 
With what forbearance, with what pa- 
tience, with what courage did she endure 
her last illness *, she complied with aU the 
directions of her physicians ; she en- 
couraged her sister and her father ; and 
when all her strength of body was ex- 
hausted, supported herself by the single 
vigour of her mind. That, indeed, con- 
tinued even to her last moments, un- 
broken by the pain of a long illness, or 
the terrors of approaching death ; and it 
is a reflection which makes the loss of 
her so much the more to be lamented. 
A loss infinitely severe ! and more severe 
by the particular conjuncture in which it 
happened ! She was contracted to a most 
worthy youth ; the wedding day was 
fixed, and we were aU invited. How sad 
a change from the highest joy to the 
deepest sorrow ! How shall I express the 
wound that pierced my heart, when I 
heard Fundanus himself (as grief is ever 
finding out circumstances to aggravate 
its melancholy) ordering the money he 
had designed to lay out upon clothes and 
jewels for her marriage, to be employed 
in myrrh and spices for her funeral ! He 
is a man of great learning and good 
sense, who bas applied himself from his 
earliest youth to the nobler and most 
elevated studies ; but all the maxims of 
fortitude which he has received from 
books, or advanced himself, he now ab- 
solutely rejects, and every other virtue of 
his lieart gives place to all a parent's 
tenderness. You will excuse, you will 
even approve his sorrow, when you con- 
sider what he has lost. He has lost a 
daughter who resembled him in his man- 
ners as well as his person, and exactly 
copied out all her father. If you shall 



tliink proper to write to him upon the 
subject of so reasonable a grief, let me 
remind you not to use the rougher argu- 
ments of consolation, and such as seem 
to carry a sort of reproof with them, but 
those of kind and sympathizing humani- 
ty. Time will render him more open to 
the dictates of reason ; for, as a fresh 
wound shrinks back from the hand of the 
surgeon, but by degrees submits to, and 
even requires the means of its cure, so a 
mind under the first impressions of a 
misfortune shuns and rejects all argu- 
ments of consolation, but at length, if 
applied with tenderness, calmly and will- 
ingly acquiesces in them. Farewell. 



LETTER XLIX. 

To Spurinna. 

Knowing, as I do, how much you ad- 
mire the polite arts, and what satisfac- 
tion you take in seeing young men of 
quality pursue the steps of their ances- 
tors, I seize this earliest opportunity of 
informing you, that I went to-day to 
hear Calpumius Piso read a poem he has 
composed upon a very bright and learned 
subject, entitled the Constellations. His 
numbers, which were elegiac, Avere soft, 
flowing, and easy, at the same time that 
they had all the sublimity suitable to such 
a noble topic. He varied his style from 
the lofty to the simple, from the close to 
the copious, from the grave to the florid, 
with equal genius and judgment. These 
beauties were extremely heightened and 
recommended by a most harmonious 
voice, which a very becoming modesty 
rendered still more pleasing. A confu- 
sion and concern in the countenance of a 
speaker throws a grace upon all he 
utters ; for there is a certain decent ti- 
midity, which, I know not how, is infi- 
nitely more engaging than the assured 
and self-sufficient air of confidence. I 
might mention several other circum- 
stances to his advantage, which I am 
the more inclined to take notice of, as 
they are most striking in a person of 
his age, and most uncommon in a youth 
of his quality ; but not to enter into a 
farther detail of his merit, I will only 
tell you, that when he had finished his 
poem, I embraced him with the utmost 
complacency ; and being persuaded that 
nothing is a greater encouragement 



Sect. II. 



PLINY. 



71 



than applause, I exhorted him to per- 
severe in the paths he had entered, and 
to shme out to posterity with the same 
glorious lustre which reflected from his 
ancestors to himself. I congratulated 
his excellent mother, and his hrother, 
who gained as much honour hy the 
generous affection he discovered upon 
this occasion, as Calpurnius did by his 
eloquence, so remarkable a concern he 
shewed for him when he began to recite 
his poem, and so much pleasure in his 
sucess. May the gods grant me fre- 
quent occasions of giving you accounts 
of this nature ! for I have a partiality to 
the age in which I live, and should re- 
joice to find it not barren of merit. 
To this end I ardently vrish our young 
men of quality would not derive all their 
glory from the images of their ances- 
tors*. As for those which are placed 
in the house of these excellent youths, I 
now figure them to myself as silently 
applauding and encouraging their pur- 
suits, and (what is a sufficient degree 
of honour to them both) as owning and 
confessing them to be their kindred. 
Farewell. 

LETTER L. 

To Servianus. 

I AM extremely rejoiced to hear that 
you design your daughter for Fuscus 
Salinator, and congratulate you upon it. 
His family is patrician f, and both his 
father and mother are persons of the most 
exalted merit. As for himself, he is stu- 
dious, learned, and eloquent, and with aU 
the innocence of a child, unites the 
sprightliness of youth to the wisdom of 
age. I am not, believe me, deceived by 
my affection, when I give him this cha- 
racter ; for though I love him, I confess, 
beyond measure (as his friendship and 
esteem for me weU deserve), yet partiality 
has no share in my judgment ; on the 
contrary, the stronger my fondness of 
him is, the more rigorously I weigh his 

* None had the right of using family pic- 
tures or statues, but those whose ancestors or 
themselves had borne some of the highest dig- 
nities. So that the jus imagbiis was much the 
same thing among the Romans, as the right 
of bearing a coat of arms among us. 

f Those families were styled Patrician, 
whose ancestors had been members of the 
senate in the earliest times of the legal or 
consular government. 



merit. I will venture then to assure you 
(and I speak it upon my own experience) 
you could not have formed to your wish 
a more accomplished son-in-law. May 
he soon present you with a grandson, 
Avho shaU be the exact copy of his father ! 
And with what pleasure shall I receive 
from the arms of two such friends their 
children or grandchildren, whom I shall 
claim a sort of right to embrace as my 
own ! Farewell. 

LETTER LI. 

To Sluintilian, 

Though your desires, I know, are ex- 
tremely moderate, and the education 
which your daughter has received is 
suitable to your character, and that of 
Tutilius her grandfather ; yet as she is 
going to be married to a person of so 
great distinction as Nonius Celer, whose 
station requires a certain splendour of liv- 
ing, it wiU be necessary to consider the 
rank of her husband in her clothes and 
equipage ; circumstances which, though 
they do not augment our real dignity, 
yet certainly adorn and grace it. But as 
I am sensible your fortune is not equal 
to the greatness of your mind, I claim 
to myself a part in your expense, and 
like another father, present the young 
lady with fifty thousand sesterces %. The 
sum should be larger, but that I am well 
persuaded the smallness of the pre- 
sent is the only consideration that can 
prevail with your modesty not to refuse 
it. Farewell. 

LETTER LII. 

To Restitutus. 

This obstinate distemper which hangs 
upon you greatly alarms me : and 
though I know how extremely tem- 
perate you are, yet I am afraid your dis- 
ease should get the better of your mo- 
deration. Let me intreat you then to 
resist it with a determined abstemious- 
ness : a remedy, be assured, of all others 
the most noble as well as the most 
salutary. There is nothing impractica- 
ble in what I recommend ; it is a rule, 
at least, which I always direct my fa- 
mily to observe with respect to myself. 
I hope, I tell them, that should I be «at- 
tacked with any disorder, I shall desire 

+ About 400/. of ©ur money. 



72 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



nothing of which I either ought to be 
ashamed, or have reason to repent : 
however, if my distemper should prevail 
over my resolution, I forbid that any 
thing be given me but by the consent of 
my physicians ; and I assure the people 
about me, that I shall resent their com- 
pliance with me in things improper, as 
much as another man would their re- 
fusal. I had once a most violent fever ; 
when the fit was a little abated, and I 
had been anointed*, my physician offered 
me something to drink ; I desired he 
would first feel my pulse, and upon his 
seeming to think the fit was not quite 
off, I instantly returned the cup, though 
it was just at my lips. Afterwards, 
when I was preparing to go into the 
bath, twenty days from the first attack 
of my illness, perceiving the physicians 
whispering together, I enqtiired what 
they were saying. They replied, they 
were of opinion I might possibly bathe 
with safety, however, that they were not 
wthout some suspicion of hazard. What 
occasion is there, said I, of doing it at 
all? And thus, with great complacency, 
I gave up a pleasure I was upon the 
point of enjoying, and abstained from 
the bath with the same composure I 
was going to enter it. I mention this 
not only in order to enforce my ad- 
vice by example, but also that this let- 
ter may be a sort of tie upon me to per- 
severe in the same resolute abstinence 
for the future. Farewell. 

LETTER LIII. 

To Prwsens. 

Are you determined then to pass your 
whole time between Lucaniaf and 
Campania I? Your answer, I suppose, 
will be, that the former is your native 
country ; and the latter that of your 
wife. This, I admit, may justify a long 
absence, but I cannot allow it as a 
reason for a perpetual one. But are you 
resolved in good earnest never to return 
to Rome, that theatre of dignities, pre- 
ferment, and society of every sort ? Are 
you obstinately bent to live your own 

* Unction was much esteemed and prescribed 
by the ancients. Celsus, who flourished, it is 
supposed, about this time, expressly recom- 
mends it in the remission of acute distempers. 

t Comprehending? the Basilicata, a pro- 
vince in the kingdom of Naples. 

X Now called Campagna di Roma, 



master, and sleep aiid rise when you 
think proper? Will you never change 
your country dress for the habit of the 
town, but spend your whole days unem- 
barrassed by business ? It is time, how- 
ever, you should revisit our scene of hurry , 
were it only that your rural pleasures 
may not grow languid by enjoyment ; 
appear at the levees of the gi-eat, that 
you may enjoy the same honour yourself 
with more satisfaction ; and mix in our 
crowd, that you may have a stronger re- 
lish for the charms of solitude. But am 
I not imprudently retarding the friend I 
would recal ? It is these very circum- 
stances, perhaps, that induce you every 
day more and more to wrap yourself up 
in retirement. All, however, I mean to 
persuade you to, is only to intermit, not 
renounce your repose. If I were to in- 
vite you to a feast, as I would blend 
dishes of a sharper taste with those of a 
more luscious kind, in order to raise the 
edge of your palate by the one, which 
has been flattened by the other ; so I 
now advise you to enliven the smooth 
pleasures of life with those of a quicker 
relish. Farewell. 

LETTER LIV. 

To Calphurnia%. 

It is incredible how impatiently I wish 
for your return ; such is the tenderness 
of my affection for you, and so un- 
accustomed am I to a separation ! I lie 
awake the greatest part of the night in 
thinking of you, and (to use a very 
common, but very true expression) my 
feet carry ^me of tlieir own accord to your 
apartment at those hours I used to visit 
you ; but not finding you there, I return 
with as much sorrow and disappoint- 
ment as an excluded lover. The only 
intermission my anxiety knows, is when 
I am engaged at the bar, and in the 
causes of my friends. Judge how 
wretched must his life be, who finds no 
repose but in business, no consolation 
but in a crowd. Farewell. 

LETTER LV. 

To Tuscus. 

You desire my sentiments concerning 
the method of study you should pursue, 
in that retirement to which you have 

§ His wife. 



Sect. II. 



PLINY. 



73 



long since withdrawn. In the first place, 
then, I look upon it as a very advan- 
tageous practice (and it is what many re- 
commend) to translate either from Greek 
into Latin, or from Latin into Greek. 
By this means you will furnish yourself 
with nohle and proper expressions, with 
variety of beautiful figiu-es, and an ease 
and strength of style. Besides, by imi- 
tating* the most approved authors, you 
wiU find your imagination heated, and 
fall insensibly into a similar turn of 
thought, at the same time that those 
things which you may possibly have 
overlooked in a common way of reading, 
cannot escape you in translating ; and 
this method wUl open your understand- 
ing and improve your judgment. It may 
not be amiss, after you have read an au- 
thor, in order to make yourself master of 
his subject and argument, from his reader 
to turn, as it were, his rival, and attempt 
something of your own in the same way ; 
and then make an impartial comparison 
between your performance and his, in 
t)rder to see in what point either you or 
he most happily succeeded. It will be a 
matter of very pleasing congratulation 
to yourself, if you should find in some 
things that you have the advantage of 
him, as it will be a gTeat mortification if 
he should rise above you in all. You 
may sometimes venture in these little 
assays to try your strength upon the 
most shining passages of a distinguished 
author. The attempt, indeed, will be 
something bold ; but as it is a conten- 
tion which passes in secret, it cannot be 
taxed with presumption. Not but that 
we have seen instances of persons, who 
have publicly entered this sort of lists 
with great success, and while they did not 
despair of overtaking, have gloriously 
advanced before those whom they thought 
it sufficient honour to follow. After 
you have thus finished a composition, 
you may lay it aside, till it is no 
longer fi-esh in your memory, and then 
take it up in order to revise and cor- 
rect it. You will find several things to 
retain, but still more to reject ; you 
will add a new thought here, and 
alter another there. It is a laborious 
and tedious task, I own, thus to re- 
inflame the mind after the first heat 
is over, to recover an impulse when its 
force has been checked and spent; 
in a word, to interweave new parts 
into the texture of a composition with- 



out disturbing or confounding the 
original plan ; but the advantage at- 
tending this method will overbalance the 
difficulty. I know the bent of your pre- 
sent attention is directed towards the 
eloquence of the bar ; but I would not 
for that reason advise you never to quit 
the style of dispute and contention. As 
land is improved by sowing it with va- 
rious seeds, so is the mind by exercising 
it with different studies. I would re- 
commend it to you, therefore, sometimes 
to single out a fine passage of history ; 
sometimes to exercise yourself in the 
epistolary style, and sometimes the poe- 
tical. For it frequently happens, that 
in pleading one has occasion to make 
use not only of historical, but even poe- 
tical descriptions ; as by the epistolary 
manner of writing you will acquire a 
close and easy expression. It will be 
extremely proper also to unbend your 
mind with poetry ; when I say so, I do 
not mean that species of it which turns 
upon subjects of great length (for that is 
fit only for persons of much leisure), but 
those little pieces of the epigrammatic 
kind, which serve as proper reliefs to, 
and are consistent with employments of 
every sort. They commonly go under 
the title of Poetical Amusements ; but 
these amusements have sometimes gained 
as much reputation to their authors, as 
works of a more serious nature. In 
this manner the greatest men, as well 
as the greatest orators, used either to 
exercise or amuse themselves, or ra- 
ther indeed did both. It is surprising 
how much the mind is entertained and 
enlivened by these little poetical com- 
positions, as they turn upon subjects 
of gallantry, satire, tenderness, polite- 
ness, and every thing, in short, that 
concerns life and the affairs of the 
world. Besides, the same advantage 
attends these, as every other sort of 
poems, that we turn from them to 
prose with so much the more plea- 
sure, after having experienced the dif- 
ficulty of being constrained and fet- 
tered by numbers. And now, perhaps, 
I have troubled you upon this subject 
longer than you desired ; however, there 
is one thing which I have omitted, I 
have not told you what kind of authors 
you shoidd read, though indeed that 
was sufficiently implied when I men- 
tioned what subjects I would recom- 
mend for your compositions. You will 



74 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book L 



remember, that the most approved 
writers of each sort are to be carefully 
chosen ; for, as it has been well observed, 
" thoug-h we should read much, we 
should not read many books*." Who 
those authors are is so clearly settled, 
and so generally knov/n, that I need not 
point them out to you : besides, I have 
already extended this letter to such an 
immoderate length, that I have inter- 
rupted, I fear, too long those studies I 
have been recommending. I will here 
resign you therefore to your papers, 
which you will now resume : and either 
pursue the studies you were before en- 
gaged in, or enter upon some of those 
Avhich I have advised. Farewell. 

LETTER LVL 

To Prisons. 

I AM deeply affected at the ill state of 
health of my friend Fannia, which she 
contracted during her attendance on 
Junia, one of the Vestal virgins. She 
engaged in this good office at first vo- 
luntarily, Junia being her relation ; as 
she was afterwards appointed to do it 
by an order from the college of priests : 
for these virgins, when any indisposition 
makes it necessary to remove them from 
the temple of Vesta, are always delivered 

* Thus the noble and polite moralist, speak- 
ing of the influence which our reading has upon 
our taste and manners, thinks it improper "to 
call a man well read, who reads many authors; 
since he must of necessity have more ill models 
than good ; and be more stuffed with bombast, 
ill fancy, and wry thought, than filled with solid 
sense and just imagination." [Character, v. 1. 
142.] When the Goths overran Greece, the li- 
braries escaped their destruction, by a notion 
which some of their leaders industriously pro- 
pagated among them, that it would be more 
for theirinterest to leave those spoils untouched 
to their enemies; as being proper to enervate 
their minds, and amuse them with vain and idle 
speculations. Truth, perhaps, has been less a 
gainerby this multiplicity of books, than error : 
and it may be a question, whether the excellent 
models which have been delivered down to us 
from antiquity, together with those few which 
modern times liave produced, by any means ba- 
lance the immoderate weight which must be 
thrown into the opposite scale of writers. The 
truth is, though we may be learned by other 
men's reflections, wise we can only be by our 
own : and the maxim here recommended by 
Pliny would well deserve the attention of the 
studious, though no other inconvenience at- 
tended the reading of many books, than that 
which Sir William Temple apprehends from it; 
the lessening the force and growth of a man's 
own genius. 



to the care and custody of some venera- 
ble matron. It was her assiduity in the 
execution of this charge that occasioned 
her present disorder, which is a continual 
fever, attended with a cough that in- 
creases daily. She is extremely emaci- 
ated, and seems in a total decay of every 
thing but spirits ; those indeed she pre- 
serves in their full vigour ; and in a 
manner worthy the wife of Helvidius, 
and the daughter of Thrasea. In all 
the rest she is so greatly impaired, that 
I am more than apprehensive upon her 
account ; I am deeply afflicted. I grieve, 
my friend, that so excellent a woman is 
going to be removed from the eyes of 
the world, which will never, perhaps, 
again behold her equal. How consum- 
mate is her virtue, her piety, her wisdom, 
her courage ! She twice followed her 
husband into exile, and once was ba- 
nished herself upon his account. For 
Senecio, when he was tried for writing 
the life of Helvidius, having said in his 
defence that he composed that work at 
the request of Fannia ; Metius Carus, 
with a stern and threatening air, asked 
her whether it was true ? She acknow- 
ledged it was : and when her father 
questioned her, whether she supplied 
him likewise with materials for that 
purpose, and whether her mother was 
privy to that transaction? she boldly 
confessed the former, but absolutely de- 
nied the latter. In short, throughout 
her whole examination not a word es- 
caped her that betrayed the least emotion 
of fear. On the contrary, she had the 
courage to preserve a copy of those very 
books, which the senate, overawed by 
the tyranny of the times, had ordered to 
be suppressed, and at the same time the 
effects of the author to be confiscated ; 
and took with her as the companions of 
her exile, what had been the cause of it. 
How pleasing is her conversation, how 
polite her address, and (which' seldom 
unites in the same character) how vene- 
rable is she as well as amiable ! She will 
hereafter, I am well persuaded, be point- 
ed out as a model to all wives ; and per- 
haps be esteemed worthy to be set forth 
as an example of fortitude even to our 
sex ; since, while yet we have the plea- 
sure of seeing and conversing with her, 
we contemplate her with the same ad- 
miration as those heroines who are cele- 
brated in ancient history. For myself, 
I confess I cannot but tremble for this 



Sect. II. 



PLINY. 



75 



illustrious house, which seems shaken to 
its very foundations, and ready to fall 
into ruins with her : for though she will 
leave descendants behind her, yet what a 
height of virtue must they attain, what 
glorious actions must they perform, ere 
the world will be persuaded that this ex- 
cellent woman was not the last of her 
family ! It is an aggravating circum- 
stance of affliction to me, that by her 
death I seem to lose a second time her 
mother ; that wiorthy mother (and what 
can I say higher in her praise ?) of so 
amiable a person ! who, as she was re- 
stored to me in her daughter, so she will 
now again be taken from me, and the 
loss of Fannia will thus pierce my heart 
at once with a fresh stab, and at the same 
time tear open a former wound. I loved 
and honoured them both so highly, that 
I knew not which had the greatest share 
of my esteem and affection ; a point they 
desired might ever remain undetermined. 
In their prosperity and their adversity I 
did them every good office in my power, 
and was their comforter in exile, as well 
as their avenger at their return. But I 
have not yet paid them what I owe, and 
am so much the more solicitous for the 
recovery of this lady, that I may have 
time to acquit what is due from me to 
her. Such is the anxiety under which I 
write this letter ! But if some friendly 
power should happily give me occasion 
to exchange it for sentiments of joy, I 
shall not complain of the alarms I now 
suffer. Farewell. 

LETTER LVII. 

To Rufus, 

What numbers of learned men does 
modesty conceal, or love of ease with- 
draw from the notice of the world ! and 
yet when we are going to speak or recite 
in public, it is the judgment only of os- 
tentatious talents which we stand in awe 
of : whereas in truth, those who silently 
cultivate the sciences have so much a 
higher claim to regard, as they pay a 
calm veneration to whatever is great in 
works of genius : an observation which 
I give you upon experience. Terentius 
Junior, having passed through the mili- 
tary offices suitable to a person of 
equestrian rank, and executed with 
great integrity the post of receiver- 
general of the revenues in Narbonensian 



Gaul*, retired to his estate, preferring 
the enjoyment of an uninterrupted tran- 
quillity, to those honours which his ser- 
vices had merited. He invited me lately 
to his house, where, looking upon him 
only as a worthy master of a family, and 
an industrious farmer, I started such 
topics of conversation in which I ima- 
gined he was most versed. But he 
soon turned the discourse, and with a 
great fund of knowledge entered upon 
points of literature. With what ele- 
gance did he express himself in Latin 
and Greek ; for he is so perfectly well 
skilled in both, that whichever he uses, 
seems to be the language v/herein he 
particularly excels. How extensive is 
his reading ! how tenacious his memory ! 
You would not imagine him the inha- 
bitant of a country village, but of polite 
Athens herself. In short, his conversa- 
tion has increased my solicitude con- 
cerning my works, and taught me to 
fear the judgment of those refined 
country gentlemen, as much as of those 
of more known a;nd conspicuous learn- 
ing. And let' me persuade you to con- 
sider them in the same light : for, be- 
lieve me, upon a careful observation, you 
will often find in the literary as well as 
military world, most formidable abilities 
concealed under a very unpromising 
appearance. Farewell. 

LETTER LVIII. 

To Maximus. 

The lingering disorder of a friend of 
mine gave me occasion lately to reflect 
that we are never so virtuous as when 
oppressed with sickness. Where is the 
man who under the pain of any distem- 
per is either solicited by avarice or in- 
flamed with lust ? At such a season he 
is neither a slave of love, nor the fool 
of ambition : he looks with indifference 
upon the charms of wealth, and is con- 
tented with ever so small a portion of 
it, as being upon the point of leaving 
even that little. It is then he recollects 
there are gods, and that he himself is 
but a man : no mortal is then the object 
of his envy, his admiration, or his con- 

* One of the four principal divisions of an- 
cient Gaul ; it extended from the Pyrena?an 
mountain?, which separate France from Spain, 
to the Alps, which divide it from Italy, and 
comprehended Langucdoc, Provence, Dau- 
l)iiiny, and Savoy. 



76 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book I. 



tempt : and the reports of slander nei- 
ther raise his attention nor feed his 
curiosity : his imagination is wholly 
employed upon baths and fountains*. 
These are the subjects of his cares and 
wishes, while he resolves, if he should 
recover, to pass the remainder of his 
days in ease and tranquillity, that is, in 
innocence and happiness. I may there- 
fore lay down to you and myself a short 
rule, wliicli the philosophers have endea- 
voured to inculcate at the expense of 
many words, and even many volumes ; 
that " we should practise in health 
those resolutions we form in sickness." 
Farewell. 



LETTER LIX. 

To Genitor. 

1 AM extremely concerned that you have 
lost your pupil, a youth, as your letter 
assures me, of such great hopes. Can I 
want to be informed, that his sickness 
and death must have interrupted your 
studies, knowing, as I do, with what ex- 
actness you fill up every duty of life, and 
how unlimited your affection is to all 
those to whom you give your esteem? 
As for myself, business pursues me even 
hither, and I am not out of the reach of 
people who oblige me to act either as 
their judge or their arbitrator. To this 
I must add, not only the continual com- 
plaints of the farmers, who claim a sort 
of prescription to try my patience as 
they please ; but the necessity of letting 
out my farms : an affair which gives me 
much trouble, as it is exceedingly diffi- 
cult to find out proper tenants. For 
these reasons I can only study by 
snatches ; still, however, I study. I 
sometimes read, and sometimes I com- 
pose ; but my reading teaches me, by a 
very mortifying comparison, with what 
ill success I attempt to be an author 
myself. Though indeed you give me 
great encouragement, when you com- 
pare the piece I wrote in vindication of 
Helvidius, to the oration of Demos- 
thenes against Midias. I confess I had 
that harangue in my view when I com- 
posed mine ; not that I pretend to rival 
it (that would be an absurd and mad at- 

* It is probable that fevers were the peculiar 
distemper of Rome, as Pliny, in his general al- 
lusions to disorders of the l)ody, seems always 
to consider them of the inflammatory kind. 



tempt indeed), but I endeavoured, I 
own, to imitate it, as far as the differ- 
ence of our subjects would admit, and 
as nearly as a genius of the lowest 
rank can copy one of the highest. 
Farewell. 

LETTER LX. 

To Geminius. 

Our friend Macrinus is pierced with 
the severest affliction. He has lost his 
wife ! a lady whose uncommon virtues 
would have rendered her an ornament 
even to ancient times. He lived with 
her thirty-nine years in the most unin- 
terrupted harmony. How respectful 
was her behaviour to him ! and how did 
she herself deserve the highest venera- 
tion, as she blended and united in her 
character all those amiable virtues that 
adorn and distinguish the different 
periods of female life ! It should, me- 
thinks, afford great consolation to Ma- 
crinus, that he has thus long enjoyed so 
exquisite a blessing ; but that reflection 
seems only so much the more to im- 
bitter his loss ; as indeed the pain of 
parting with our happines still rises in 
proportion to the length of its continu- 
ance. I cannot therefore but be greatly 
anxious for so valuable a friend, till 
this wound to his peace shall be in a 
condition to admit of proper applica- 
tions. Time, however, together with 
the necessity of the thing, and even a 
satiety of grief itself, will best effect his 
cure. Farewell. 



LETTER LXI. 

To Romanus. 

Have you ever seen the source of the 
river Clitumnus f ? as I never heard you 
mention it, I imagine not ; let me 
therefore advise you to do so imme- 
diately. It is but lately indeed I had 
that pleasure, and I condemn myself 
for not having seen it sooner. At the 
foot of a little hill, covered with vene- 
rable and shady cypress-trees, a spring 

f Now called Clitumno: it rises a little be- 
low the village of Campello in Ombria. The 
inhabitants near this river still retain a notion 
that its waters are attended with a supernatural 
property, imagining it makes the cattle white 
that drink of it : a quality for which it is like- 
v/ise celebrated by many of the Latin poets. 
See Addison's Travels. 



Sect. II. 



PLINY 



77 



issues out, which, gushing in different 
and unequal streams, forms itself, after 
several windings, into a spacious bason, 
so extremely clear that you may see the 
pebbles and the little pieces of money 
which are thrown into it*, as they lie 
at the bottom. From thence it is carried 
off not so much by the declivity of the 
ground, as by its own strength and 
fulness. It is navigable almost as soon 
as it has quitted its source, and wide 
enough to admit a free passage for 
vessels to pass by each other, as they sail 
with or against the stream. The cur- 
rent runs so strong, though the ground 
is level, that the large barges which go 
down the river have no occasion to 
make use of their oars ; while those 
which ascend find it difficult to advance, 
^ven with the assistance of oars and 
poles ; and this vicissitude of labour and 
ease is exceedingly amusing when one 
sails up and down merely for pleasure. 
Tlie banks on each side are shaded with 
the verdure of great numbers of ash 
and poplar trees, as clearly and distinct- 
ly seen in the stream, as if they were ac- 
tually sunk in it. The water is cold as 
snow, and as white too. Near it stands 
an ancient and venerable temple, where- 
in is placed the river-god Clitumnus, 
clothed in a robe, whose immediate pre- 
sence the prophetic oracles here deliver- 
ed sufficiently testify. Severval little cha- 
pels are scattered round, dedicated to 
particular gods, distinguished by diffe- 
rent names, and some of them too pre- 
siding over different fountains. For, 
besides the principal one, which is as it 
were the parent of all the rest, there are 
several other lesser streams, which, tak- 
ing their rise from various sources, lose 
themselves in the river : over v/hich a 
bridge is built, that separates the sacred 

* The heads of considerable rivers, hot 
springs, large bodies of standing water, &e. 
were esteemed holy among the Romans, and 
cultivated with religious ceremonies. " Mag- 
norum fluminum," says Seneca, " capita re- 
veremur; subita et ex abdito vasti amnis 
eruptio aras habet^ coluntur aquaram calen- 
tium fontes, et stagna quaedara, vel opacitas, 
vel immensa altitude sacravit." Ep. 41. It 
was customary to throw little pieces of money 
into those fountains, lakes, &c., which had the 
reputation of being sacred, as a mark of vene- 
ration for those places, and to render the pre- 
siding deities propitious. Suetonius mentions 
this practice in the annual vows which he says 
the Roman people made for the health of 
Augustus. 



part from that which lies open to com- 
mon use. Vessels are allowed to come 
above this bridge, but no person is per- 
mitted to swim except below itf. The 
Hispalletes|, to whom Augustus gave 
this place, furnish a public bath, and 
likewise entertain ail strangers at their 
own expense. Several villas, attracted 
by the beauty of this river, are situated 
upon its borders. In short, every object 
that presents itself will afford you en- 
tertainment. You may also amuse 
yourself with numberless inscriptions, 
that are fixed upon the pillars and walls 
by different persons, celebrating the 
virtues of the fountain, and the divinity 
that presides over it. There are many 
of them you will greatly admire, as 
there are some that will make you 
laugh ; but I must correct myself 
when I say so : you are too humane, I 
know, to laugh upon such an occasion. 
Farewell. 

LETTER LXII. 

To Ursus. 

It is long since I have taken either a 
book or pen in my hand. It is long 
since I have known the sweets of leisure 
and repose ; since I have known, in 
short, that indolent but agreeable situa- 
tion of doing nothing, and being no- 
thing ; so much have the affairs of my 
friends engaged me, and prevented me 
from enjoying the pleasures of retire- 
ment and contemplation. There is no 
sort of studies, however, of consequence 
enough to supersede the duty of friend- 
ship : on the contrary, it is a sacred tie 
which they themselves teach us most 
religiously to preserve. Farewell. 

LETTER LXIII. 

To Fabatus^. 

Your concern to hear of my wife's 
miscarriage will be equal, I know, to 
the earnest desire you have that we 
should make you a great-grandfather. 
The inexperience of her youth rendered 
her ignorant that she was breeding ; so 
that she not only neglected the proper 
precautions, but managed herself in a 

f The touch of a naked body was thought to 
pollute these consecrated waters, as appears 
from a passage in Tacitus, 1. 14. an. c. '22. 

X Inhabitants of a town in Ombria, now 
called Spello. 

§ His wife's grandfather. 



IS 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book L 



way extremely unsuitable to a person in 
her circumstances. But she has severely 
atoned for her mistake by the utmost 
hazard of her life. Though you should 
(as most certainly you will) be afflicted 
to see yourself thus disappointed in your 
old age, of the immediate hopes of leav- 
ing- a family behind you ; yet it deserves 
your gratitude to the gods, that in the 
preservation of your grand -daughter, 
you have still reason to expect that bless- 
ing ; an expectation so much the more 
certain, as she has given this proof, 
though an unhappy one indeed, of her be- 
ing capable of bearing children. These, 
at least, are the reflections by which I 
endeavour to confirm my own hopes, 
and comfort myself under my present 
disappointment. You cannot more ar- 
dently wish to have great-grandchildren 
than I do to have children, as the dignity 
of both our families seems to open to 
them a sure road to honours, and we 
shall leave them the glory of descending 
from a long race of ancestors, whose 
fame is as extensive as their nobility is 
ancient. May we but Lave the pleasure 
of seeing them born, it will make us 
amends for the present disappointment. 
Farewell. 



LETTER LXIV. 

To Hispulla''^ . 

When I consider that you love your 
niece even more tenderly than if she 
were your own daughter, I ought in the 
first place to inform you of her recovery 
before I tell you she has been ill ; that 
the sentiments of joy at the one may 
leave you no leisure to be afilicted at 
the other ; though I fear indeed, after 
your first transports of gratulation are 
over, you will feel some concern, and in 
the midst of your joy for the danger she 
has escaped, will tremble at the thought 
of that which she has undergone. She 
is now, however, in good spirits, and 
again restored to herself and to me, as 
she is making the same progress in the 
recovery of her strength and health that 
she did in the loss of them. To say the 
truth (and I may now safely tell it you), 
she was in the utmost hazard of her life ; 
not indeed from any fault of her own, but 
a little from the inexperience of her 

■•*'• fJis wife's aunt. 



youth. To this must be imputed the 
cause of her miscarriage, and the sad 
experience she has had of the conse- 
quence of not knowing she was breed- 
ing. But though this misfortune has 
deprived you of the consolation of a 
nephew, or neice, to supply the loss of 
your brother ; you must remember that 
blessing seems rather to be deferred 
than denied, since her life is preserved 
from whom that happiness is to be ex- 
pected. I entreat you then to repre- 
sent this accident to your father f 
in the most favourable light : as your 
sex are the best advocates in cases of 
this kind. Farewell. 

LETTER LXV. 

To Minutianus. 
I BEG you would excuse me this one 
day : Titinius Capito is to recite a per- 
formance of his, and I know not whether 
it is most my inclination or my duty to 
attend him. He is a man of a most 
amiable disposition, and justly to be num- 
bered among the brightest ornaments of 
our age : he studiously cultivates the po- 
lite arts himself, and generously admires 
and encourages them in others. To se- 
veral who have distinguished themselves 
by their compositions, he has been the 
defence, the refuge, and the reward ; as 
he affords a glorious model and example 
to all in general. In a word, he is the 
restorer and reformer of learning, now, 
alas ! well nigh grown obsolete and de- 
cayed. His house is open to every man 
of genius who has any works to rehearse ; 
and it is not there alone that he attends 
these assemblies with the most obliging 
good-nature. I am sure, at least,' he 
never once excused himself from mine, 
if he happened to be at Rome. I should 
therefore with a more than ordinary jll 
grace refuse to return him the same fa- 
vour, as the occasion of doing it is pe- 
culiarly glorious. Should not I think 
myself obliged to a man, who, if I were 
engaged in any law-suit, generously at- 
tended the cause in which I was interest- 
ed? And am I less indebted, now that 
my whole care and business is of the 
literary kind, for his assiduity in my con- 
cerns of this sort? A point which, if not 
the only, is however the principal in- 



f Fabatns, grandfathci 
Pliny's wife. 



to Calphurnia, 



Sect. II, 



PLINY. 



79 



stance wherein I can be obliged. But 
though I owed him no return of this 
nature ; though I were not engaged to 
him by the reciprocal tie of the same 
good offices he has done me ; yet not 
only the beauty of his extensive genius, 
as polite as it is severely correct, but 
the dignity of his subject would strongly 
incite me to be of his audience. He 
has written an account of the deaths of 
several illustrious persons, some of 
which were my particular friends. It 
is a pious office then, it should seem, as 
I could not be present at their obse- 
quies, to attend, at least, this (as I may 
call it) their funeral oration ; which, 
though a late, is, however, for that rea- 
son, a more unsuspected tribute to their 
memories. Farewell. 



LETTER LXVI. 

To Sabinicmus. 

Your freed-man, whom you lately men- 
tioned to me with displeasure, has been 
with me, and threw himself at my feet 
with as much submission as he could 
have done at yours. He earnestly re- 
quested me with many tears, and even 
with all the eloquence of silent sorrow, 
to intercede for him ; in short, he con- 
vinced me by his whole behaviour, that 
he sincerely repents of his fault. And I 
am persuaded he is thoroughly reform- 
ed, because he seems entirely sensible 
of his guilt. I know you are angry 
with him, and I know too it is not 
without reason ; but clemency can never 
exert itself with more applause, than 
when there is the justest cause for re- 
sentment. You once had an affection 
for this man, and, I hope, will have 
again : in the mean while, let me only 
prevail with you to pardon him. If he 
should incur your displeasure hereafter, 
you will have so much the stronger plea 
in excuse for your anger, as you shew 
yourself more exorable to him now. 
Allow something to his youth, to his 
tears, and to your own natural mildness 
of temper : do not make him uneasy any 
longer, and I will add too, do not make 
yourself so : for a man of your benevo- 
lence of heart cannot be angry without 
feeling great regret. I am afraid, Avere 
I to join my intreaties with his, I should 
seem rather to compel, than request you 
to forgive him. Yet I will not scruple 



to do it : and in so much the stronger 
terms, as I have very sharply and se- 
verely reproved him, positively threat- 
ening never to interpose again in his 
behalf. But though it was proper to 
say this to him, in order to make him 
more fearful of offending, I do not say so 
to you. I may, perhaps, again have oc- 
casion to intreat you upon his account, 
and again obtain your forgiveness ; 
supposing, I mean, his error should be 
such as may become me to intercede 
for, and you to pardon. Farewell. 

LETTER LXVII. 

To the same. 

I GREATLY approve of your having, in 
compliance with my letter, received 
again into your family and favour, a 
freed-man, whom you once admitted 
into a share of your affection. It will 
afford you, I doubt not, great satisfac- 
tion. It certainly, at least, has me, 
both as it is a proof that you are capa- 
ble of being governed in your passion, 
and as it is an instance of your paying 
so much regard to me, as either to yield 
to my authority, or to comply with my 
request. You will accept, therefore, 
at once, both of my applause and my 
thanks. At the same ti^iie I must ad- 
vise you to be disposed for the future 
to pardon the errors of your people, 
though there should be none to inter- 
pose in their behalf. Farewell. 

LETTER LXVIII. 

To Fuscus. 

You desire to know in what manner I 
dispose of my time in my summer viUa 
at Tuscum. I rise just when I find 
myself in the humour, though generally 
with the sun ; sometimes indeed sooner, 
but seldom later. When 1 am up, I 
continue to keep the shutters of my 
chamber-windov/s closed, as darkness 
and silence wonderfully promote me- 
ditation. Thus free and abstracted 
from those outward objects which dissi- 
pate attention, I am left to my own 
thoughts ; nor suffer my mind to wan- 
der with my eyes, but keep my eyes 
in subjection to my mind, which, when 
they are not distracted by a multiplicity 
of external objects, see nothing but what 
the imagination represents to them. 



80 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book L 



If I have any composition upon my 
hands, this is the time I choose to con- 
sider it, not only with respect to the 
general plan, but even the style and ex- 
pression, which I settle and correct as 
if I were actually writing. In this man- 
ner I compose more or less as the sub- 
ject is more or less difficult, and I find 
myself able to retain it. Then I call 
my secretary, and, opening the shutters, 
I dictate to him what I have composed, 
after which I dismiss him for a little 
while, and then call him in again. 
About ten or eleven of the clock (for I 
do not observe one fixed hour), accord- 
ing as the weather proves, I either walk 
upon my terrace, or in the covered por- 
tico, and there I continue to meditate 
or dictate what remains upon the sub- 
ject in which I am engaged. From 
thence I get into my chariot, where I 
employ myself as before, vdien I was 
walking or in my study ; and find this 
changing of the scene preserves and 
enlivens my attention. At my return 
home, I repose myself; then I take a 
walk ; and after that, x'epeat aloud some 
Greek or Latin oration, not so much 
for the sake of strengthening my elo- 
cution, as my digestion ; though indeed 
the voice at the same time finds its ac- 
count in this practice. Then I walk 
again, am anointed, take my exercises, 
and go into the bath. At supper, if I 
have only my wife or a few friends with 
me, some author is read to us ; and after 
supper we are entertained either with 
music or an interlude. When that is 
finished, I take my walk with my family, 
in the number of which I am not with- 
out some persons of literature. Thus 
we pass our evenings in various conver- 
sation ; and the day, even when it is at 
the longest, steals away imperceptibly. 
Upon some occasions, I change the 
order in certain of the articles above- 
mentioned. For instance, if I have 



studied longer or walked more than 
usual, after my second sleep and read- 
ing an oration or two aloud, instead of 
using my chariot I get on horseback ; 
by which means I take as much exercise 
and lose less time. The visits of my 
friends from the neighbouring villages 
claim some part of the day ; and some- 
times, by an agreeable interruption, 
they come in very seasonably to relieve 
me when I am fatigued. I now and 
then amuse myself with sporting, but 
always take my tablets into the field, 
that though I shoidd not meet with 
game, I may at least bring home some- 
thing. Part of my time too (though 
not so much as they desire) is allotted 
to my tenants ; and I find their rustic 
complaints give a zest to my studies and 
engagements of the politer kind. Fare- 
well. 

LETTER LXIX. 

To the same. 

You are much pleased, I find, with the 
account I gave you in my former letter, 
of the manner in v.^hicli I spend the 
summer season at Tuscum ; and desire 
to know what alteration I make in my 
method, when I am at Laurentinum in 
the winter. None at all, except abridg- 
ing myself of my sleep at noon, and em- 
ploying part of the night in study : and 
if any cause requires my attendance at 
Rome (which in winter very frequently 
happens), instead of having interludes 
or music after supper, I meditate upon 
what I have dictated, and by often re- 
vising it in my own mind, fix it in my 
memory. Thus I have given you my 
scheme of life in summer and winter ; 
to which you may add the intermediate 
seasons of spring and autumn. As at 
those times I lose nothing of the day, so 
I study but little in the night. Farewell. 



BOOK THE SECOND. 

MODERN AND MISCELLANEOUS, 

OF EARLY DATE. 



SECTION I. 



LETTER I. 



Mueen Anne Bullen to King Henry, 

Sir, 
Your grace's displeasure and my im- 
prisonment are tilings so strange unto 
me, as what to write, or what to excuse, 
I am altogether ignorant. Wliereas you 
send unto me (willing me to confess a 
truth, and so obtain your favour) by such 
an one whom you know to be mine an- 
cient professed enemy, I no sooner re- 
ceived this message by him, than I 
rightly conceived your meaning ; and if, 
as you say, confessing a truth, indeed, 
may procure my safety, I shall, with all 
willingness and duty, perform your com- 
mand. 

But let not your gi'ace ever imagine, 
that your poor wife will ever be brought 
to acknowledge a fault, where not so 
much as a thought thereof preceded. 
And, to speak a truth, never prince had 
wife more loyal in all duty, and in all 
true affection, than you have ever found 
in Anne Bullen ; with which name and 
place I could willingly have contented 
myself, if God and your grace's pleasure 
had been so pleased. Neither did I at 
any time so far forget myself in my ex- 
altation, or received queenship, but that 
I always looked for such an alteration as 
now I find ; for the ground of my pre- 
ferment being on no surer foundation 
ton your grace's fancy, the least alter- 



ation, I know, was fit and sufficient to 
draw that fancy to some other subject. 
You have chosen me from a low estate to 
be your queen and companion, far be- 
yond my desert and desire. If then you 
found me worthy of such honour, good 
your grace let not any light fancy, or 
bad counsel of mine enemies, withdraw 
your princely favour from me ; neither 
let that stain, that unworthy stain, of a 
disloyal heart towards your good grace, 
ever cast so foul a blot on your most du- 
tiful wife, and the infant princess, your 
daughter. Try me, good king, but let 
me have a lawful trial ; and let not my 
sworn enemies sit as my accusers and 
judges ; yea, let me receive an open trial 
(for my truth shall fear no open shame) ; 
then shall you see either mine innocence 
cleared, your suspicion and conscience 
satisfied, the ignominy and slander of 
the world stopped, or my guilt openly 
declared. So that whatsoever God or 
you may determine of me, your grace 
may be freed from an open censure, and 
mine offence being so lawfully proved, 
your grace is at liberty, both before God 
and man, not only to execute worthy 
punishment on me, as an unlawful wife, 
but to follow yoiu* affection, already 
settled on that party, for whose sake I 
am now as I am, whose name I could 
some good while since have pointed unto 
your grace, being not ignorant of my 
suspicion therein. But if you have al- 
ready determined of me, and that not 
only my death, but an infamous slander 
G 



82 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book II. 



must bring you the enjoying of your de- 
sired happiness, then I desire of God 
that he will pardon your great sin there- 
in, and likewise mine enemies the in- 
struments thereof : and that he will not 
call you to a strict account for your un- 
princely and cruel usage of me, at his 
general judgment-seat, where both you 
and myself must shortly appear, and in 
whose judgment, I doubt not (what- 
soever the world may think of me), 
mine innocence shall be openly known 
and sufficiently cleared. My last and 
oidy request shall be, that myself may 
only bear the burthen of your grace's 
displeasure, and that it may not touch 
the innocent souls of those poor gentle- 
men, who, as I understand, are likewise 
in strait imprisonment for my sake. If 
ever I found favour in your sight, if ever 
the name of Anne Bullen hath been 
pleasing in your ears, then let me obtain 
this request ; and I will so leave to 
trouble your grace any farther, with my 
earnest prayers to the Trinity to have 
your grace in his good keeping, and to 
direct you in all your actions. From my 
doleful prison in the Tower, the 6th of 
May. Your most loyal and ever faithful 
wife. 

LETTER II. 

A Letter from Lady More to Mr. Secre- 
tary Cromwell. 

Right honourable and my especial good 
master secretary : in my most humble 
wise I recommend me unto your good 
mastership, acknowledging myself to be 
most deeply bound to your good master- 
ship for your manifold goodness and 
loving favour, both before this time and 
yet daily, now also shewn towards my 
poor husband and me. I pray Almighty 
God continue your goodness so still, 
for thereupon hangeth the greatest part 
of ray poor husband's comfort and mine. 
The cause of my writing at this time is 
to certify your especial good mastership 
of my great and extreme necessity ; 
which, on and besides the charge of 
mine own house, do pay weekly fifteen 
shillings for the board wages of my poor 
husband and his servant ; for the main- 
taining whereof I have been compelled, 
of very necessity, to sell part of my ap- 
parel, for lack of other substance to 
make money of. Wherefore my most 



humble petition and suit to your mas- 
tership at this time is, to desire your 
mastership's favourable advice and coun- 
sel, whether I may be so bold to attend 
upon the king's most gracious highness. 
I trust there is no doubt in the cause of 
my impediment ; for the young man 
being a ploughman, had been diseased 
with the ague by the space of three 
years before that he departed. And 
besides this, it is now five weeks since 
he departed, and no other person dis- 
eased in the house since that time ; 
wherefore I most humbly beseech your 
especial good mastership (as my only 
trust is, and else know not what to do, 
but utterly in this world to be undone) 
for the love of God to consider the pre- 
mises, and thereupon, of your most 
abundant goodness, to shew your most I 
favourable help to the comforting of my ■ 
poor husband and me, in this our great 
heaviness, extreme age, and necessity. 
And thus we and all ours shall daily, 
during our lives, pray to God for the 
prosperous success of your right honour- 
able dignity. By your poor continual 
oratrix. 

LETTER III. 

Lady Stafford to Mr. Secretary Crom- 
well. 



Master secretary, after my poor re- 
commendations, which are little to be 
regarded of me that am a poor banished 
creature, this shall be to desire you to 
be good to my poor husband and to me. 
I am sure it is not unknown to you the 
high displeasure that both he and I 
have both of the king's highness and the 
queen's grace, by the reason of our mar- 
riage without their knowledge, wherein 
we both do yield ourselves faulty, and 
do acknowledge that we did not well 
to be so hasty or so bold without their 
knowledge. But one thing, good master 
secretary, consider, that he was young, 
and love overcame reason ; and for my 
part, I saw so much honesty in him 
that I loved him as well as he did me, 
and was in bondage, and glad I was to 
be at liberty : so that for my part, I 
saw that all the world did set so little 
by me, and he so much, that I thought 
I could take no better way but to take 
him and to forsake ail other ways, and 
live a poor honest life with him ; and 



Sect, 1. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



83 



so I do put no doubts but v^e should, if 
■we might once be so happy to recover the 
king's gracious favour and the queen's. 
For well I riiight liave had a greater 
man of birth, and a higher ; but I as- 
sure you I could never have had one 
that should have loved me so well, nor a 
more honest man. And besides that, he 
is both come of an ancient stock, and 
again as meet (if it was his grace's plea- 
sure) to do the king service as any 
young gentleman in his court. There- 
fore, good master secretary, this shall be 
my suit to you, that for the love that 
well I know you do bear to all my blood, 
though for my part I have not deserved 
it but little, by the reason of my vile con- 
ditions, as to put my husband to the 
king's grace, that he may do his duty 
as all other gentlemen do. And, good 
master secretary, sue for us to the king's 
highness, and beseech his highness, 
which ever was wont to take pity, to 
have pity on us : and that it would 
please his grace of his goodness, to 
speak to the queen's grace for us ; for 
as far as I can perceive, her grace is so 
highly displeased with us both, that 
without the king be so good lord to us 
as to withdraw his rigour and sue for 
us, we are never like to recover her 
grace's favour, which is too heavy to 
bear. And seeing there is no remedy, 
for God's sake help us, for we have been 
now a quarter of a year married, I thank 
God, and too late now to call that again ; 
wherefore there is the more need to help. 
But if I were at my liberty, and might 
choose, I assure you, master secretary, 
for my little time, 1 have tried so much 
honesty to be in him, that I would rather 
beg my bread with him than to be the 
greatest queen christened ; and 1 believe 
verily he is in the same case with me, 
for I believe verily he would not forsake 
me to be a king; therefore, good master 
secretary, being we are so well together, 
and do intend to live so honest a life, 
though it be but poor, shew part of your 
goodness to us, as well as you do to all 
the world besides ; for I promise you ye 
have the name to help all them that have 
need ; and amongst all your suitors, I 
dare be bold to say that you have no 
matter more to be pitied than ours ; and 
therefore for God's sake be good to us, 
for in you is all our trust ; and I be- 
seech you, good master secretary, pray 
my lord my father, and my lady, to be 



good to us, and to let me have their 
blessings, and my husband their good 
will, and 1 will never desire more of 
them. Also I pray you desire my lord 
of Norfolk, and my lord my brother to 
be good to us ; I dare not write to them, 
they are so cruel against us ; but if with 
any pain that I could take with my life, 
I might win their good wills, I promise 
you there is no child living would ven- 
ture more than I ; and so I pray you to 
report by me, and you shall find my 
writing true ; and in all points which I 
may please them in, I shall be ready to 
obey them nearest my husband, whom. I 
am most bound to, to whom I most hear- 
tily beseech you to be good unto, which 
for my sake is a poor banished man, for 
an honest and a godly cause ; and being 
that I have read in old books that some 
for as just causes have by kings and 
queens been pardoned by the suit of good 
folks, I trust it shall be our chance, 
through your good help, to come to the 
same, as knoweth the God who sendeth 
you health and heart's ease. Scribbled 
with her ill hand, who is your poor 
humble suitor always to command. 

LETTER IV. 

Earl of Essex to 2,ueen Elizaheth. 

From a mind delighting in sorrow, from 
spirits wasted in passion, from a heart 
torn in pieces with care, grief, and travel, 
from a man that hateth himself and all 
things that keepeth him alive, what ser- 
vice can your majesty expect, since your 
service past deserves no more than ba- 
nishment or prescription in the cursedest 
of all other countries ? Nay, nay, it is 
your rebels' pride and success that must 
give me leave to ransom my life out of 
this hateful prison of ray loathed body ; 
which if it happen so, your majesty shall 
have no cause to mislike the fashion of 
my death, since the course of my life 
could never please you. Your majesty's 
exiled servant. 

LETTER V. 

Lord Chancellor Egerton to the Earl of 

Essex. 

It is often seen, that he that stands by 
seeth more than he that playeth the 
game ; and, for the most part, every one 
in his OAvn cause standetli in his own 
lisfht, and seeth not so clearly as. he 
G 2 



84 



ELEGANT EPISTLEiS. 



Book If, 



should. Your lordship hath dealt in 
other men's causes, and in great and 
weighty affairs, with great wisdom and 
judgment ; now your own is in hand, 
you are not to contemn or refuse the 
advice of any that love you, how simple 
soever. In this order I rank myself 
amon^ others that love you, none more 
simple, and none that love you with 
more true and honest affection ; which 
shall plead my excuse if you shall either 
mistake or mistrust my words or mean- 
ing. But, in your lordship's honourable 
wisdom, I neither doubt nor suspect the 
one nor the other. I will not presume 
to advise you, but shoot my bolt and 
tell you what I think. The beginning 
and long continuance of this so unsea- 
sonable discontentment you have seen 
and proved, by which you aim at the 
end ; if you hold still this course, which 
hitherto you find to be worse and worse 
(and the longer you go the further you 
go out of the way), there is little hope 
or likelihood the end will be better : you 
are not yet gone so far but that you may 
well return : the return is safe, but the 
progress is dangerous and desperate in 
this course you hold. If you have any 
enemies, you do that for them which 
they could never do for themselves. 
Your friends you leave to scorn and con- 
tempt : you forsake yourself and over- 
throw your fortunes, and ruin your ho- 
nour and reputation : you give that com- 
fort and courage to the foreign enemies, 
as greater they cannot have ; for what 
can be more welcome and pleasing news 
than to hear that her majesty and the 
realm are maimed of so worthy a mem- 
ber, who hath so often and so valiantly 
quelled and daunted them ? You forsake 
your country when it hath most need of 
your counsel and aid ; and, lastly, you 
fail in your indissoluble duty which you 
owe unto your most gracious sovereign, 
a duty imposed upon you not by nature 
and policy only, but by the religious and 
sacred bond wherein the divine majesty 
of Almighty God hath by the rule of 
Christianity obliged you. 

For the four first, your constant reso- 
lution may perhaps move you to esteem 
them as light ; but being well Aveighed, 
they are not light, nor lightly to be re- 
garded. And for the four last, it may 
be that the clearness of your own con- 
science may seem to content yourself; 
but that is not enough ; for these duties 



stand not only in contemplation or in- 
ward meditation, and cannot be per- 
formed but by external actions, and 
where that faileth the substance also 
faileth. This being your present state 
and condition, what is to be done ? What 
is the remedy, my good lord? I lack 
judgment and wisdom to advise you, but 
I will never want an honest true heart 
to wish you well ; nor, being warranted 
by a good conscience, will fear to speak 
that I think. I have begun plainly, be 
not offended if I proceed so. Bene 
credit qui cedii tempori : and Seneca 
saith, Cedendum est fortunce. The me- 
dicine and remedy is liot to contend and 
strive, but humbly to yield and submit. 
Have you given cause, and ye take a 
scandal unto ydu? then all you can do is 
too little to make satisfaction. Is cause 
of scandal given unto you ? Yet policy, 
duty, and religion enforce you to sue, 
yield, and submit to our sovereign, be- 
tween whom and you there can be no 
equal proportion of duty, where God re- 
quires it as a principal duty and care to 
himself, and when it is evident that great 
good may ensue of it to your friends, 
yourself, your country, and your sove- 
reign, and extreme harm by the contrary. 
There can be no dishonour to yield ; but 
in denying, dishonour and impiety. The 
difficulty, my good lord, is to conquer 
yourself, vdiich is the height of true 
valour and fortitude, whereunto all your 
honourable actions have tended. Do 
it in this, and God will be pleased, her 
majesty (no doubt) well satisfied, your 
country will take good, and your friends 
comfort by it ; and yourself (I mention 
you last, for that of all these you es- 
teem yourself least) shall receive ho- 
nour ; and your enemies (if you have 
any) shall be disappointed of their bitter 
sweet hope. 

I have delivered what I think simply 
and plainly : I leave you to determine 
according to your own wisdom. If I have 
erred, it is error amor is, and not amor 
erroris. Construe and accept it, I be- 
seech you, as I meant it ; not as an ad- 
vice, but as an opinion to be allowed or 
cancelled at your pleasure. If I might 
conveniently have conferred with your- 
self in person, I would not have troubled 
you with so many idle blots. Whatso- 
ever yon judge of this my opinion, yet be 
assured my desire is to further all good 
means that may tend to your lordship's 



Sect. 1. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



85 



good. And so wishing you all happiness 
and jionour, I cease. Your lordship's 
most ready and faithful, though unable 
poor friend. 

LETTER VL 

The EarVs Answer. 

My very good lord, thougli there is not 
that man this day living whom I would 
sooner make judge of any question that 
might concern me than yourself ; yet 
you must give me leave to tell you, that 
in some cases I must appeal from all 
eartlily judges ; and if in any, then surely 
in this, when the highest judge on earth 
hath imposed upon me the heaviest pu- 
nishment, without trial or hearing. Since 
then I must either answer your lordship's 
arguments, or else forsake mine own just 
defence, I will force mine aking head to 
do me service for an hour. I must first 
deny my discontentment (which was 
forced to he an humorous discontent) ; 
and in that it was unseasonable, or is so 
long continuing, your lordship should ra- 
ther condole with me than expostulate : 
natural seasons are expected here below, 
but violent and unseasonable storms come 
from above ; there is no tempest to the 
passionate indignation of a prince, nor 
yet at any time so unseasonable as when 
it lighteth on those that might expect an 
harvest of their careful and painful la- 
bours. He that is once wounded must 
needs feel smart till his hurt be cured, or 
the part hurt become senseless. But cure 
I expect none, her majesty's heart being 
obdurate ; and be without sense I cannot, 
being of flesh and blood. But you may 
say, I aim at the end ; I do more than 
aim, for I see an end of all my fortunes, 
I have set an end to all my desires. In 
this course do I any thing for mine ene- 
mies ? When I was present I found them 
absolute, and therefore I had rather they 
should triumph alone, than have me at- 
tendant upon their chariots. Or do I 
leave my friends ? When I was a courtier 
I could sell them no fruit of my love, and 
now that I am an hermit, they shall bear 
no envy for their love to me. Or do I 
forsake myself, because I do not enjoy 
myself? Or do I overthrow my fortunes, 
because I build not a fortune of paper 
walls, which every puff of wind bloweth 
down? Or do I ruinate mine honour, 



because i leave following' the pursuit, or 
wearing the false mark or the shadow of 
honour ? Do I give courage or comfort 
to the enemies, because I neglect myself 
to encounter them, or because I keep my 
heart from business, though I cannot keep 
my fortune from declining? No, no, I 
give every one of those considerations his 
due right, and the more 1 weigh them, 
the more I find myself justified from of- 
fending in any of them. As for the two 
last objections, that I forsake my country 
when it hath most need of me, and fail 
in that indissoluble duty which I owe to 
my sovereign ; I answer. That if my 
country had at this time any need of my 
public service, her majesty that governetli 
it v/ould not have driven me to a private 
life. I am tied to my country by tAvo 
bonds ; one public, to discharge carefully 
and industriously that trust which is com- 
mitted to me ; the other private, to sa- 
crifice for it my life and carcass, which 
hath been nourished in it. Of the first I 
am free, being dismissed by her majesty : 
of the other, nothing can free me but 
death, and therefore no occasion of per- 
formance shall sooner offer itself, but I 
will meet it half way. The indissoluble 
duty I owe unto her majesty, the service 
of an earl and of marshal of England, 
and I have been content to do her the 
service of a clerk, but I can never serve 
her as a villain or a slave. But you say 
I must give way to time. So I do ; for 
now that I see the storm come, I have 
put myself into harbour. Seneca saitli. 
We must give way to fortune : I know 
that fortune is both blind and strong, and 
therefore I go as far as I can out of the 
way. You say the remedy is not to strive : 
I neither strive nor seek for remedy. But 
you say, I must yield and submit : I can 
neither yield myself to be guilty, nor this 
my imprisonment, lately laid upon me, to 
be just : I ow^e so much to the Author of 
truth, as I can never yield truth to be 
falsehood , nor falsehood to be truth. Have 
I given cause, you ask, and yet take a 
scandal? No, I gave no cause to take up 
vso much as Fimbria his complaint : for I 
did totuin telum corpore accipere ; I pa- 
tiently bear and sensibly feel all that I 
then received when this scandal was given 
me. Nay, when the vilpst of all indig- 
nities are done unto me, doth religion en- 
force me to sue? Doth God require it? 
Is it impiety not to ^0 it ? Why ? Can- 
not princes err? Cannot subjects receive 



m 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book II. 



wrong ? Is an earthly power infinite ? 
Pardon me, pardon me, my lord, I can 
never subscribe to these principles. Let 
Solomon's fool laugh when he is stricken ; 
let those that mean to make their profit 
of princes, shew to have no sense of 
princes' injuries ; let them acknowledge 
an infinite absoluteness on earth, that do 
not believe an absolute infiniteness in 
heaven. Asforme, I have received wrong, 
I feel it ; my cause is good, I know it ; 
and whatsoever comes, all the powers on 
earth can never shew more strength or 
constancy in oppressing, than I can shew 
in suffering whatsoever can or shall be 
imposed upon me. Your lordship in the 
beginning of your letter makes me a 
player, and yourself a looker-on ; and me 
a player of my own game, so you may see 
more than I ; but give me leave to tell 
you, that since you do but see, and I do 
suffer, I must of necessity feel more than 
you. I must crave your lordship's pa- 
tience to give him that hath a crabbed 
fortune leave to use a crooked style. 
But whatsoever my style is, there is no 
heart more humble, nor more affected, 
towards your lordship, than that of your 
lordship's poor friend. 

LETTER VII. 

Sii' Henri/ Sidney to his son Philip Sid- 
ney, at school at Shrewsbury, an. 1566, 
9 Eliz. then being of the age of twelve 
years. 

I HAVE received two letters from you, 
one written in Latin, the other in French, 
which I take in good part, and will you 
to exercise that practice of learning 
often ; for that will stand you in most 
stead, in that profession of life that you 
are born to live in. And, since this is 
my first letter that ever I did write to 
you, I v/ill not, that it be all empty of 
some advices, which my natural care of 
you provoketh me to wish you to folio v/, 
as documents to you in this your tender 
age. Let your first action be, the lifting 
up of your mind to Almighty God, by 
hearty prayer, and feelingly digest the 
words you speak in prayer with con- 
tinual meditation, and thinking of him 
to whom you pray, and of the matter for 
whicli you pray. And use this as an 
ordinary, at, and at an ordinary hour. 
Whereby the time itself will put you in 



remembrance to do that which you are 
accustomed to do. In that time apply 
your study to such hours as your discreet 
master doth assign you earnestly ; and 
the time (I know) he will so limit, as 
shall be both sufficient for your learning, 
and safe for your health. And mark the 
sense and the matter of that you read, 
as well as the words. So shall you both 
enrich your tongue with words and your 
wit with matter ; and judgment will grow 
as years groweth in you. Be humble and 
obedient to your master, for unless you 
frame yourself to obey others, yea, and 
feel in yourself what obedience is, you 
shall never be able to teach others how 
to obey you. Be courteous of gesture, 
and affable to all men, with diversity of 
reverence, according to the dignity of the 
person. There is nothing that winneth 
so much with so little cost. Use mo- 
derate diet, so as, after your meat, you 
may find your wit fresher, and not duller, 
and your body more lively, and not more 
heavy. Seldom drink wine, and yet some- 
time do, lest being enforced to drink 
upon the sudden, you should find your- 
self inflamed. Use exercise of body, but 
such as is without perU of your joints or 
bones. It will increase your force, and 
enlarge your breath. Delight to be 
cleanly, as well in all parts of your body 
as in your garments. It shall make you 
grateful in each company, and otherwise 
loathsome. Give yourself to be merry, 
for you degenerate from your father, if 
you find not yourself most able in wit and 
body, to do any thing, when you be most 
merry ; but let your mirth be ever void 
of aU scurrility, and biting words to any 
man, for a wound given by a word is 
oftentimes harder to be cured, than that 
which is given with the sword. Be you 
rather a hearer and bearer away of other 
men's talk than a beginner or procurer 
of speech, otherwise you shall be counted 
to delight to hear yourself speak. If 
you hear a wise sentence, or an apt 
phrase, commit it to your memory, with 
respect of the circumstance, when you 
shall speak it. Lei never oath be heard 
to come out of your mouth, nor words 
of ribaldry : detest it in others, so shall 
custom make to yourself a law against it 
in yourself. Be modest in each assembly, 
and rather be rebuked of light fellows, 
for maiden-like shamefacedness, than of 
your sad friends for pert boldness. Think 
upon every word that you will speak^ 



I 



Sect. I. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



87 



before you utter it, and remember how 
nature liatli rampired up (as it were) the 
tongue with teeth, lips, yea, and hair 
without the lips, and all betokening' reins, 
or bridles, for the loose use of that mem- 
ber. Above all things tell no untruth, 
no not in trifles. The custom of it is 
nauglity ; and let it not satisfy you, that, 
for a time, the hearers take it for a truth, 
for after it will be known as it is , to your 
shame ; for there cannot be a greater 
reproach to a gentleman than to be ac- 
counted a liar. Study and endeavour 
yourself to be virtuously occupied. So 
shall you make such an habit of well 
doing in you, that you shall not know 
how to do evil, though you would. Re- 
member, my son, the noble blood you 
are descended of, by your mother's side ; 
and think, that only by virtuous life and 
good action you may be an ornament to 
that illustrious family ; and otherwise, 
through vice and sloth, you shall be 
counted lahes generis, one of the greatest 
curses that can happen to man. Well 
(my little Philip), this is enough for me, 
and too much 1 fear for you. But if I 
shall find that this light meal of digestion 
nourish any thing the weak stomach of 
your young capacity, I will, as I find the 
same grow stronger, feed it with tougher 
food. Your loving father, so long as 
you live in the fear of God. 



LETTER VIIL 

Sir Henry Sidney to Robert Dudley, Earl 
of Leicester. 

My dearest lord. 
Since this gentleman, sir Nicholas Ar- 
nold, doth now repair into England to 
render account of his long and painful 
service, lest my silence might be an ar- 
gument of my condemnation of him, I 
thought good to accompany him with 
these my letters, certifying your lordship, 
by the same, that I find he hath been a 
marvellous painful man, and very diligent 
in inquiry for the queen's advantage, and 
in proceeding in the same more severe 
than I would have wished him, or would 
have been myself in semblable service ; 
but he saitli he followed his instructions. 
Doubtless the things which he did deal 
in are very dark and intricate, by reason 
of the long time passed without account ; 
and he greatly impeadied, for lack of 



an auditor, as I take it. In truth, what 
will fall out of it, I cannot say ; but I 
fear he hath written too affirmatively 
upon Birmingham's information : it is 
reported by some of his adversaries, that 
he should triumph greatly upon a letter, 
supposed to be sent him lately from your 
lordship, as though, by the same, he 
should be encouraged to proceed more 
vehemently against the earl of Sussex, 
and to make his abode longer here than 
else he would. And that he should use 
this bravery, either by shewing this let- 
ter, or by speech to me and to others. 
My lord, I believe the whole of this to 
be untrue ; and, for so much as con- 
cernetli myself, I assure your lordship is 
a stark lie ; for albeit he hath shewed me, 
as I believe, all the letters your lordship 
hath sent him, since my arrival here, and 
a good many sent before, yet in none of 
them is there any such matter contained ; 
neither yet did he to me, or to my know- 
ledge to any other, of any letter sent by 
your lordship, make any such bravery, 
or like construction, as is reported. 

My dearest lord and brother, without 
any respect of me, or any brotherlike 
love borne me by you, but even for our 
natural country's cause (whereunto, of 
late, not a little to your far spreading 
fame, you shew yourself most willingly 
to put your indefatigable and much help- 
ing hand), help to revoke me from this 
regiment, for being not credited, this 
realm will ruin under my rule, perhaps 
to my shame, but undovibtedly to Eng- 
land's harm : yea, and will under any 
man whom the queen shall send, though 
he have the force of Hercules, the mag- 
nanimity of Caesar, the diligence of Alex- 
ander, and the eloquence of TuUy ; her 
highness withdrawing her gracious coun- 
tenance. Yea if it be but thought that 
her highness hath not a resolute and un- 
removeable liking of him ; as for no tale 
she will direct him to sail by any other 
compass than his own ; his ship of re- 
giment, whosoever he be, ghall sooner 
rush on a rock, than rest in a haven. I 
write not this, as tliough I tliought go- 
vernors here could not err, and so err, as 
they should be revoked. For I know and 
confess, that any one may so err, yea, 
without any evil intent to her highness's 
crown or country, as it shall be conve- 
nient and necessary to revoke him ; but 
let it be done then with speed. Yet if it be 
but conceived, that he be insufficient to 



ELEOANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



govern here, I mean of the sovereign, 
or magistrates, retire him, and send a 
new man to the helm. Episcopatum 
ejus accipiat alter: so as my counsel is 
(and you shall find it the soundest) that 
the governor's continuance here, and his 
continuance there, be concurrent and 
correlative. For while her highness wiU 
employ any man here, all the counte- 
nance, all the credit, all the commenda- 
tion, yea, and most absolute trust that 
may be, is little enough. Cause once 
appearing to withdraw that opinion, 
withdraw him, too, if it be possible, even 
in that instant. Of this I would write 
more largely and more particularly, and 
to the queen's majesty, and to aU my 
lords, were it not that my many letters 
in this form already written, together 
with sundry arguments of my crazy 
credit there, did put me in hope of a 
speedy redemption fi*om this my miserable 
thraldom. A resolution of which my 
hope, my dearest lord, procure me with 
speed : I have no more, but sub umhra 
alarum tuarum protegaf me Deus. In 
haste I take my leave of youF lordship, 
wishing to the hame present, increasing, 
and immortal felicity. From Kilmain- 
ham, the 28th of June, 1566. Your 
lordship's bounden, fast, and obedient 
brother. 

P. S. I assure your lordship I do know 
that sir Nicholas Arnold hath spent, 
above all his entertainment, 500^. ster- 
ling in this realm. I mean he hath spent 
so much in this realm. 



LETTER IX. 

Tlie Right Honourable Thomas Sackvil, 
Lord Buckhurst, to Sir Henry Sidney. 

My lord, 
I TRUST your lordsbip nill pardon me, 
in that I have not (as indeed possibly I 
could not) attend to make a meeting, 
for the end of this variance betwixt your 
lordship and me ; and now being this 
day also so wrapt in business that I can- 
not by any means be a suretyer, I thought 
to write these few to your lordship, and 
therein to ascertain you, that, because 
our meeting with the master of the rolls, 
and Mr. Hensias meeting, will be so un- 
certain, that, therefore, what time so- 
ever you shall like to appoint I will come 
to the rolls, and there your lordship and 
I, as good neighbours and friends, will, 



if we can, compound the cause of our- 
selves. If we cannot, we will both pray 
the master of the rolls, as indifferent, 
as I know he is, to persuade him to the 
right, that stands in the wrong. And 
thus, I doubt not, but there shall be a 
good end to both our contentions : your 
lordship not seeking that which is not 
yours ; nor I, in any sort, meaning to 
detain from you your own. This 23d 
May, 1574. All yours to command. 

LETTER X. 

Sir Henry Sidney to Robert Dudley, Earl 
of Leicester, 

My dearest lord, 
I RECEIVED not your letter of the 25th 
of November until the 24th of this 
January, by James Prescot, who was 
seven times at tlie sea, and put back 
again, before he coidd recover this coast. 

I trust I have satisfied your lordship 
with my wi'iting, and others by my pro- 
curement, sent by Pakenham, touching 
the false and malicious bruit of the earl 
of Essex's poisoning. If not, what you 
will have more done, shall be done. I 
am sorry I hear not how you like of that 
I have done, and the more, for that I 
ajn advertised of Pagnaney's arrival there. 
I would not have doubted to have made 
Knell to have retracted his inconsiderate 
and foolish speech and writing ; but God 
hath prevented me by taking him away, 
dying of the same disease that the earl 
died, which, most certainly, was free 
from any poison, and a mere flux ; a dis- 
ease appropriated to this country, and 
whereof there died many in the latter 
part of the last year, and some out of 
mine own household ; and yet free from 
any suspicion of poison. 

And for my lord of Ormond's causes, 
I humbly beseech your lordship be my 
pawn, that I will to him justice as in- 
differently and speedily as I will to any 
man, considering the cause and necessary 
circumstances incident to the same ; but 
for love and loving offices, I will do as 
I find cause » I crave nothing at his 
hand, but that which he oweth to the 
queen, and that which her gi'eat libera- 
lity, beside natural duty, bindeth him to. 
And if he wiU have of me that I owe him 
not, as he hath had, he cannot win it by 
crossing me, as I hear lie doth in the 
court ; and as I have cause to deem be 



Sect. I 



M O D E R N, O F EARLY DATE. 



80 



doth in this country. In fine, my lord, 
I am ready to accord with him ; but, my 
most dear lord and brother, be you upon 
your keeping for him, for if Essex had 
lived, you should have found him as 
violent an enemy, as his heart, power, 
and cunning, would have served him to 
have been ; and for that their malice, I 
take God to record, I could brook no- 
thing of them both. 

Your lordship's latter written letter I 
received the same day I did the first, 
together with one from my lord of Pem- 
broke to your lordship ; by both which 
I find, to my exceeding great comfort, 
the likelihood of a marriage between his 
lordship and my daughter, which great 
honour to me, my mean lineage and kin, 
I attribute to my match in your noble 
house ; for which I acknowledge myself 
bound to honour and serve the same, to 
the uttermost of my power ; yea, so 
joyfully have I at heart, that my dear 
child's so happy an advancement as this 
is, as, in truth, I would lie a year in 
close prison rather than it should break. 
But, alas ! my dearest lord, mine ability 
answereth not my hearty desire. I am 
poor ; mine estate, as well in livelihood 
and moveable, is not unknown to your 
lordship, which wanteth much to make 
me able to equal that, which I know my 
lord of Pembroke may have. Two thou- 
sand pounds I confess I have bequeathed 
her, which your lordship knoweth 1 
might better spare her when I were 
dead, than one thousand living ; and in 
truth, my lord, I have it not, but bor- 
row it I must, and so I will : and if your 
lordship will get me leave, that I may 
feed my eyes with that joyful sight of 
their coupling, I will give her a cup 
worth five hundred pounds. Good my 
lord, bear with my poverty, for if I had 
it, little would I regard any sum of mo- 
ney, but willingly woidd give it, pro- 
testing before the Almighty God, that 
if he, and all the powers on earth, would 
give me my choice for a husband for her, 
I would choose the earl of Pembroke. I 
writ to my lord of Pembroke, which 
herewith I send your lordship ; and thus 
I end, in answering your most welcome 
and honourable letter, with my hearty 
prayer to Almighty God to perfect your 
lordship's good work, and requite you 
for the same, for I am not able. For 
myself, I am in great despair to obtain 
the fee farm of mv small leases, which 



grieveth me more for the discredit, dur- 
ing mine own time, than the lack of the 
gain to my succession, be it as God will. 
I find, by divers means, that there is 
great expectation of my wishing her ma- 
jesty's treasure appointed for the service 
of this country ; and, in truth, no man 
living would fainer nourish it than I ; 
and, in proof thereof, I will abate one 
thousand pounds of the quarterage due 
the last of March, so as L may have the 
other four thousand due, then delivered 
to the treasurer's assign, together with 
that due the last of December last ; and, 
if I can, I will abate every quarter one 
thousand pounds. The actual rebellion 
of the Clanricardines, the O'Connors, 
and O'Mores, the sums of money de- 
livered in discharge of those soldiers 
which were of my lord of Essex's regi- 
ment, and the great sums imprested in 
the beginning of my charge, well con- 
sidered ; it may and will appear a good 
offer ; and, I pray your lordship, let it 
have your favourable recommendation. 

Now, my dearest lord, I have a suit 
unto you for a necessary and honest ser- 
vant of mine, Hercules Rainsford, whose 
father, and whole lineage, are devout 
followers to your lordship and family. 
My suit is, that whereas by composition 
with James Wingfield, he is constable of 
the castle of Dublin, and therein both 
painfully and carefully serveth, that it 
would please your lordship to obtain it 
for him during his life. Truly, my lord, 
like as you should bind the poor gen- 
tleman, and all his honest friends, always 
to serve you, for your bounty done to 
him ; so shall I take it as a great mercy 
done to myself ; for truly I have found 
him a faithful aiid profitable servant, 
and beside, he hath married a good and 
old servant of my wife's. Good my lord, 
send Philip to me ; there was never father 
had more need of his son, than I have of 
him. Once again, good my lord, let me 
have him. 

For the state of this country, it may 
please you to give credit to Prescot. 

I am now, even now, deadly weary of 
writing, and therefore I end, praying to 
the Almighty to bless you with all your 
noble heart's desires. From Dundalk, 
this 4tli of February, 1576. Your most 
assured brother at commandment. 



90 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



LETTER XL 

Sir Henry Sidney to Sueen Elizabeth. 

May it please your most excellent ma- 
jesty, 
To understand, that of late it hath 
pleased Almighty God to caU to his 
mercy the hishop of Ossory, and so the 
room of that see is become void, and to 
be now by your highness conferred. I 
have therefore thought it my duty, moved 
in zeal for the reformation of the coun- 
try and good of the people, humbly to 
beseech your majesty, that good care 
were had, that the church might be sup- 
plied with a fit man, and such a person as 
is acquainted with the language and man- 
ners of this country people might be 
promoted to succeed in the place ; of 
which number I humbly recommend 
unto your excellent majesty Mr. Davy 
Cleere, one that hath been long bred 
and brought up in the University of Ox- 
ford, a master of arts of good continu- 
ance, a man esteemed not meanly learned, 
besides well given in religion, and of a 
modest discreet government, and com- 
mendable conversation, being a man spe- 
cially noted unto me, by the good report 
of the lord archbishop of Dublin, for his 
sufficiency to the place, with a very 
earnest desire that (the same being the 
place of a suffragan under him) the said 
Cleere might be preferred unto it. The 
bishopric is but a mean living, yet a suf- 
ficient finding for an honest man. And 
because the sooner the place shall be 
full of an able man (such a one for his 
integrity as this man is esteemed), the 
greater fruit will thereby grow to the 
church, honour to your majesty, and no 
small hope to be conceived of good to 
the people ; whereof, as it becometh me 
(having the principal charge of this 
realm under your majesty), I have a 
special care. I write not only to your 
majesty in this case, by a report of 
others, but partly by knovv^ledge and 
experience I have had of the man my- 
self. And therefore am the more desirous 
that your majesty should graciously al- 
low of my commendation and choice, 
and give order for his admission and 
consecration, when it shall be your ma- 
jesty's pleasure to signify the same. 
And even so, with my most earnest and 
humble hearty prayer to the Almighty, 
long and happily to preserve your high- 
ness to reign over us, your majesty's 



humble and obedient subjects, to our in- 
estimable comforts, 1 humbly take my 
leave. From your majesty's castle of 
Athlone, the 4th of September, 1576. 
Your majesty's most humble, faithful, 
and obedient servant. 



LETTER XII. 

Sir Henry Sidney to Mr. Secretary Wal- 
singham, concerning the reports of the 
Earl of Essex's death. 

Sir, 
Immediately upon my return out of 
Connaught to this city, which was the 
13th of this present October, and know- 
ing of the death of the earl of Essex, 
which I did not certainly till I came 
within thirty miles of this town, and that 
his body was gone to be buried at Car- 
marthen, and hearing besides, that let- 
ters had been sent over, as well before his 
death as after, that he died of poison, 1 
thought good to examine the matter as 
far as I could learn, and certify you, to 
the end you might impart the same to the 
lords, and both satisfy them therein, 
and all others, whom it might please you 
to participate the same unto, and would 
believe the truth. For, in truth, there 
was no appearance or cause of suspicion 
that could be gathered that he died of 
poison. For the manner of his disease 
was this ; a flux took him on the Thurs- 
day at night, being the 30th of August 
last past, in his own house, where he had 
that day both supped and dined ; the day 
following he rode to the archbishop of 
Dublin's, and there supped and lodged ; 
the next morning following he rode to 
the viscount of Baltinglass, and there did 
lie one night, and from thence returned 
back to this city ; all these days he tra- 
velled hastily, fed three times a day, with- 
out finding any fault, either through in- 
flammation of his body or alteration of 
taste ; but often he would complain of 
grief in his belly, and sometimes say, that 
he had never hearty grief of mind, but 
that a flux would accompany the same. 
After he returned from this journey he 
grew from day to day sicker and sicker, 
and having an Irish physician sent to him 
by the earl of Ormond, doctor Trevor, 
an Oxford man, and my physician, Mr. 
Chaloner, secretary of this state, and not 
unlearned in physic, and one that often, 
for good will, giveth counsel to his friends 



Sect. I. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



yi 



in cases of sickness, and one Mr. Knell, 
an honest preacher in this city, and a 
chaplain of his own, and a professor of 
physic, continually with him, they never 
ministered any thing to him against 
poison. The Irish physician affirmed be- 
fore good mtnesses that he was not 
poisoned ; what the others do say of that 
matter, by their own writings, which 
herewith I send you, you shall perceive. 
And drawing towards his end, being 
especially asked by the archbishop of 
Dublin whether he thought that he was 
poisoned or no, constantly affirmed that 
he thought he was not ; nor that he felt 
in himself any cause why he should con- 
jecture so to be : in his sickness his 
colour rather bettered than impaired ; 
no hair of his body shed, no nail altered, 
nor tooth loosed, nor any part of his 
skin blemished. And when he was 
opened it could not appear that any 
intrail within his body, at any time, had 
been infected with any poison. And yet 
I find a bruit there was that he was 
poisoned ; and that arose by some words 
spoken by himself, and yet not originally 
at the first conceived of himself, as it is 
thought by the wisest here, and those 
that were continually about him; but 
one that was very near him at that time, 
and whom he entirely trusted, seeing 
him in extreme pain with flux and 
gripings in his belly, by reason of the 
same, said to him, By the mass, my 
lord, you are poisoned ; whereupon the 
yeoman of his cellar was presently sent 
for to him, and mildly and lovingly he 
questioned with him, saying, that he 
sent not for him to burden him, but to 
excuse him. The fellow constantly an- 
swered, that if he had taken any hurt 
by his wine he was gviilty of it ; for, my 
lord (saith he), since you gave me warn- 
ing in England to be careful of your 
drink, you have drank none but it passed 
my hands. Then it was bruited, that 
the boiled water which he continually 
drank with his wine should be made of 
water wherein flax or hemp should be 
steeped, which the yeoman of his cellar 
flatly denied, affirming the water which 
he always boiled for him was perfect good. 
Then it was imputed to the sugar ; he 
answered, he could get no better at the 
steward's hands, and fair though it were 
not, yet wholesome enough, or else it had 
been likely that a great many should 
have had a shrewd turn ; for my house- 



hold and many more have occupied of 
the same almost these twelve months. 
The physicians were asked what they 
thought, that they spoke doubtfully, 
saying it might be that he was poisoned, 
alleging that this thing or that thing 
might poison him, since they never gave 
him medicine for it ; they constantly 
affirm that they never thought it but for 
argument's sake, and partly to please the 
earl. He had two gentlewomen that 
night at supper with him that the disease 
took him, and they coming after to visit 
him, and he hearing- that they were 
troubled with some looseness, said that 
he feared that they and he had tasted of 
one drug, and his page (who was gone 
with his body over before I returned). 
The women upon his words were afraid, 
but never sick, and are in as good a state 
of health as they were before they supped 
with him. Upon suspicion of his being 
poisoned, Mr. Knell (as it was told me) 
gave him sundry times of unicorn's 
horns, upon which sometimes he vomited, 
as at other times he did, when he took 
it not. Thus I have delivered unto 
you as much as I can learn of the sick- 
ness and death of this noble peer, whom 
I left when I left Dublin, in all appear- 
ance a lusty, strong, and pleasant man ; 
and before I returned his breath was out 
of his body, and his body out of this 
country, and undoubtedly his soul in 
heaven ; for in my life I never heard of 
a man to die in such perfectness ; he 
was sick twenty or twenty-one days, and 
most of those days tormented with pangs 
intolerable ; but in all that time, and all 
that torture, he was never heard speak 
an idle or angry word : after he yielded 
to die, he desired much to have his 
friends come to him, and to abide with 
him, which they did of sundry sorts, 
unto v/hom he shewed such arguments 
of hearty repentance of his life passed, so 
sound charity with all the world, such 
assurance to be partaker of the joys of 
heaven through the merits of Christ's 
passion, such a joyful desire, speedily to 
be dissolved, and to enjoy the same, 
which he would sometimes say. That it 
pleased the Almighty to reveal unto him 
that he should be partaker of (as was to 
the exceeding admiration of all that 
heard it). He had continually about 
him folks of sundry degrees, as men of 
the clergy, gentlemen, gentlewomen, 
citizens, and servants, unto all which 



92 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



lie would use so g'odly exhortations and 
grave admonitions, and that so aptly for 
the persons he spake unto, as in all his 
life he never seemed to be half so wise, 
learned, nor eloquent, nor of so good 
memory as at his death. He forgot not 
to send weighty warnings to some of his 
absent friends by message. Oft-times, 
when grievous pangs had driven him out 
of slumbers, he would make such shew of 
comfort in spirit, and express it with such 
words, as many about him thought he 
saw and heard some heavenly voice and 
vision. Many times after bitter pangs he 
would with cheerful countenance cry. 
Courage ! courage ! I have fought a good 
fight, and thus ought every true soldier 
to do, that fighteth under the standard 
of his captain and patron Jesus Christ. 
About eleven of the clock before noon, on 
the 22d of September, with the name of 
Jesus issuing out of his mouth, he left to 
speak any more, and shortly after lifting 
up his hand to the name of Jesus, when 
he could not speak it himself; he ceased 
to move any more, but sweetly and mildly 
his ghost departed, by all Christians to 
be hoped into heavenly bliss. The Al- 
mighty grant that all professing Christ 
in their life, may at their death make such 
testimony of Christianity as this noble 
earl did. ilnd thus ending my tedious 
letter, with the doleful (and yet com- 
fortable) end of this noble man, I wish 
you from the bottom of my heart, good 
life and long ; and the joy of heaven at 
the end. From the castle of Dublin this 
20th of October, 1576. Your assured 
loving friend. 



LETTER XIIL 

Sir Henry Sidney to the Lords of the 
Council. 

My very good lords. 
My humble duty remembered to your 
honourable lordships : after I was come 
liither to deal in causes of the north, I 
received letters sent unto me by an ex- 
press messenger from the archbishop of 
Dublin, to desire license of me to repair 
into England with some note and testi- 
mony from me, what I had found of him 
here. And albeit the motion seemed to 
me at the first to be very sudden ; yet 
considering the manner of his writing, 
and the conveying of his moaning, pro- 



ceeded from some deep conceit of a per- 
plexed mind and a sorrowful heart, for 
some matter that touched him near (as it 
seemed), I could not deny him so reason- 
able a request, but granted him leave to 
depart, with this testimony, that I have 
found him ready to come to me at all 
times, when I had occasion to use his 
assistance for her majesty's service, and 
very willing to set forward any thing 
that might either concern the public be- 
nefit or quiet of the country, or her ma- 
jesty's honour or profit ; besides, a man 
well given, and zealous in religion, dili- 
gent in preaching, and no niggard in hos- 
pitality, but a great reliever of his poor 
neighbours, and by his good behaviour 
and dealing gained both love and credit 
amongst those v/ith whom he hath been 
conversant ; and carried himself in that 
reputation in the world, as I have not 
known him at any time either detected or 
suspected of any notorious or public 
crime. And thus much I thought good 
to declare to your lordships of him, and 
that I have not had cause at any time to 
think otherwise of him, but as of a spund 
counsellor to the queen, and good mi- 
nister to this country and commonwealth. 
And even so, beseeching your lordships' 
favourable acceptation of him, and in his 
petitions (if he have any) to stand his 
good lords, I humbly take my leave. 
From the Newry, the 12th of February, 
1576. Your good lordships' assured 
loving friend to command. 



LETTER XIV. 

Sir Henry Sidney to his son Robert Sidney, 
afterwards Earl of Leicester. 

Robin, 
Your several letters of the 17th of Sep- 
tember and 9th of November I have re- 
ceived ; but that sent by Carolus Clu- 
sius I have not yet heard of. Your let- 
ters are most heartily welcome to me ; 
but the universal testimony that is made 
of you, of the virtuous course you hold 
in this your juvenile age, and how much 
you profit in the same, and what excel- 
lent parts God hath already planted in 
you, doth so rejoice me, that the sight 
of no earthly thing is more, or can be 
more, to my comfort, than hearing in 
this sort from, and of you. Our Lord 
bless you, my sweet boy. Verge, perge, 
my Robin, in the filial fear of God, and 



Sect. I. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



93 



in the meanest imag^mation of yourself, 
and to tile loving direction of your most 
loving- brother. 

I like very well of your being- at Prague, 
and of your intention to go to Vienna. 
1 wish you should curiously look upon 
the fortification of that ; and considering 
the state of Christendom, I cannot teU 
how to design your travel into Italy. I 
would not have you to go specially, for 
that there is perpetual war between the 
pope and us. I think the princes and 
potentates of that region are confederated 
with him ; and for some other respects, I 
would not have you go thither. Yet 
from Spain we are as it were under an 
inhibition ; France in endless troubles ; 
the LoAv Country in irrecoverable misery. 
So 1 leave it to your brother and your- 
self, whether Vienna being seen, you 
will return into England , or spend the 
next summer in those parts ; which if you 
do, I think best (you being satisfied with 
Vienna) you see the principal cities of 
Moravia and Silesia, and so to Cracow ; 
and if you can have any commodity, to see 
the court of the king of that realm : and 
from thence through Saxony, to Hoist, 
and Pomerland, seeing the princes' courts 
by the way ; and then into Denmark and 
Sweden, and see those kings' courts. 
Acquaint you somewhat with the estate 
of the free States ; and so at Hamburgh 
to embark, and to winter with me. But 
what do I blunder at these things ? follow 
the direction of your most loving brother, 
who in loving you is comparable with 
me, or exceedeth me. Imitate his vir- 
tues, exercises, studies, and actions; he 
is a rare ornament of this age, the very 
formular that all well-disposed young 
gentlemen of our court do form also their 
manners and life by. In truth, I speak it 
without flattery of him, or of myself, he 
hath the most rare virtues that ever I 
found in any man. I saw him not these 
six months, little to my comfort. You 
may hear from him Avith more ease than 
from me. In your travels these docu- 
ments I will give you, not as mine but 
his practices. Seek the knowledge of 
the estate of every prince, court, and city, 
that you pass through. Address your- 
self to the company, to learn this of 
the elder sort, and yet neglect not the 
younger. By the one you shall gather 
learning, wisdom, and knowledge, by the 
other acquaintance, languages, and exer- 
cise. This he effectually observed with 



great gain of understanding. Once 
again I say imitate him. I hear you 
are fallen into concert and fellowship 
with sir Harry Nevell's son and heir, 
and one Mr. Savell. I hear of singular 
virtues of them both. I am glad of your 
familiarity with them. 

The 21st of this present I received 
your letter of the 12th of the same, and 
with it a letter from Mr. Languet, who 
seemeth as yet to mislike nothing in 
you ; for which I like you a great deal 
the better ; and I hope I shall hear 
further of your commendation from him, 
which will be to my comfort. I find 
by Harry White that all your money is 
gone, which with some wonder dis- 
pleaseth me ; and if you cannot frame 
your charges according to that propor- 
tion I have appointed you, I must and 
will send for you home. I have sent 
order to Mr. Languet for one hundred 
pounds for you, which is twenty pounds 
more than I promised you ; and this I 
look and order that it shall serve you 
till the last of March, 1580. Assure 
yourself I will not enlarge one groat, 
therefore look well to your charges. 

I hope by that time you shall receive 
this letter you will be at or near Stras- 
burgh, from which resolve not to depart 
till the middle of April come twelve- 
month ; nor then I will not that you do, 
unless you so apply your study, as by that 
time you do conceive feelingly rhetoric 
and logic, and have the tongues of Latin, 
French, and Dutch ; which I know you 
may have, if you will apply your will and 
wit to it. I am sure you cannot but find 
what lack in learning you have by your 
often departing from Oxford ; and the 
like, and greater loss shall you find, if you 
resolve not to remain continually for the 
time appointed in Strasburgh. Write to 
me monthly, and of your charges parti- 
cularly ; and either in Latin or French. 
I take in good part that you have kept 
promise with me ; and on my blessing 
I charge you to write truly to me from 
time to time, whether you keep it or 
no ; and if you break it in some dark 
manner, how. 

Pray daily ; speak nothing but truly. 
Do no dishonest thing for any respect. 
Love IMr. Languet with reverence, unto 
whom in most hearty manner commend 
me ; and to Doctor Lubetius, and Mr. 
Doctor Sturmius. Farewell. If you will 
follow my counsel you shall be my sweet 



94 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



boy. From Baynard's Castle in Lon- 
don, this 25th of March, 1578. Your 
loving" father. 



LETTEU XV. 

S'zV Philip Sidney to his father Sir Henry 
Sidney. 

Right honourable my singular good 
lord and father, 
So strangely and diversely goes the 
course of the world by the interchang- 
ing humours of those that govern it, that 
though it be most noble to have always 
one mind and one constancy, yet can it 
not be always directed to one point : but 
must needs sometiiiies alter his course, 
according as the force of other changes 
drives it. As now in your lordship's 
case to whom of late I wrote, wishing 
your lordship to return as soon as con- 
veniently you might, encouraged there- 
unto by the assurance the best sort had 
given me, with what honourable consi- 
derations your return should befal, par- 
ticularly to your lot : it makes me change 
my style, and write to your lordship, that 
keeping still your mind in one state of 
virtuous quietness, you will yet frame 
your course according to them. And as 
they delay your honourable rewarding, 
so you by good means do delay your re- 
turn, till either that ensue, or fitter time 
be for this. 

Her majesty's letters prescribed you a 
certain day, I think ; the day was past 
before Pagnam came unto you, and en- 
joined to do some things, the doing 
whereof must necessarily require some 
longer time. Hereupon your lords?iip 
is to write back, not as though you de- 
sired to tarry, but only shewing that un- 
willingly you must employ some days 
thereabouts ; and if it please you to add, 
that the chancellor's presence shall be 
requisite ; for by him your lordship shall 
either have honourable revocation, or 
commandment of further stay at least 
till Michaelmas, which in itself shall be a 
fitter time ; considering that then your 
term comes fully out, so that then your 
enemies cannot glory it is their procuring. 
In the mean time, your friends may la- 
bour here to bring to a better pass such 
your reasonable and honourable desires, 
which time can better bring forth than 
speed. Among which friends, before 



God there is none proceeds either so 
thoroughly or so wisely as my lady my 
mother. For mine own part I have 
had only light from her. Now rests it 
in your lordship to weigh the particula- 
rities of your own estate, which no man 
can know so well as yourself; and ac- 
cordingly to resolve. For mine own par^; 
(of which mind your best friends are 
here) this is your best way. At least 
whatsoever you resolve, I beseech you 
with all speed I may understand, and that 
if it please you with your own hand ; for 
truly, sir, I must needs impute it to some 
great dishonesty of some about you, that 
there is little v/ritten from you, or to 
you, that is not perfectly known to your 
professed enemies. And thus much I am 
very willing they should know, that I do 
write it unto you : and in that quarter you 
may, as I think, look precisely to the 
saving of some of those overplussages, or 
at least not to go any further ; and then 
the more time passes, the better it will 
be blown over. Of my being sent to the 
queen, being armed with good accounts, 
and perfect reasons for them, &c. 
25th April, 1578. 

LETTER XVL 

Sir Philip Sidney to Edward IVaterhoiise, 
Esq. Secretary of Ireland. 

My good Ned, 
Never since you went, that ever you 
wrote to me, and yet I have not failed 
to do some friendly offices for you here. 
How know I that ? say you. I cannot 
tell. But I know that no letters I have 
received from you. Thus doth unkind- 
ness make me fall to a point of kindness. 
Good Ned, either come or write. Let 
me either see thee, hear thee, or read 
thee. Your other friends that know more 
will write more fully. I, of myself, thus 
much. Always one, and in one case. 
Me solo exultans totus teres atque rotundus. 
Commend me to my lord president ; to 
the noble sir Nicholas, whom I bear spe- 
cial goodwill to ; to my cousin Harry 
Harrington, whom I long to see in health ; 
sir Nicholas Bagnol : Mr. Agarde's 
daughter ; my cousin Spikman for your 
sake ; and whosoever is mayor of Dublin 
for my sake. And even at his house 
when you think good. I bid you fare- 
well. From Court, this 28th April, 1578. 
Your very loving friend. 



Sect. I. M O D E RN, O F E A R L Y D AT E. 95 

LETTER XVII. LETTER XIX. 



Sir Philip Sidnei/ to Edward Molineux, 
Esq, Secretary to his father as Lord 
Deputy. 

Mr. Molineux, 
Few words are Lest. My letters to my 
father have come to the eyes of some. 
Neither can I condemn any hut you for 
it. If it he so, you have played the very 
knave with me ; and so I wiU make you 
know if I have good proof of it. But 
that for so much as is past. For that is 
to come, I assure you before God, that 
if ever 1 know you do so much as read 
any letter I write to my father, without 
his commandment, or my consent, I 
will thrust my dagger into you. And 
trust to it, for I speak it in earnest. In 
the mean time farewell. From Court, 
this last day of May, 1578. 



LETTER XVIII. 

Edward Molineux, Esq. to Philip Sidney, 
in answer to the ahovesaid letter. 

Sir, 
I HAVE received a letter from you, which, 
as it is the first, so the same is the 
sharpest that I ever, received from any : 
and therefore it amazeth me the more 
to receive such a one from you, since I 
have (the world can be judge) deserved 
better somewhere, howsoever it pleaseth 
you to condemn me now. But since it 
is (I protest to God) without cause, or 
yet just ground of suspicion you use me 
thus, I bear the injury more patiently 
for a time; and mine innocency, I hope, 
in the end shall try mine honesty ; and 
then I trust you will confess you have 
done me wi'ong. And since your plea- 
sure so is expressed, that I shall not 
henceforth read any of your letters ; al- 
though I must confess I have heretofore 
taken both great delight and profit in 
reading some of them : yet upon so hard 
a condition (as you seem to offer) I will 
not hereafter adventure so great a peril, 
but obey you herein. Howbeit, if it had 
pleased you, you might have commanded 
me in a far greater matter, with a far less 
penalty. From the Castle of Dublin, the 
1st of July, 1578. Yours, Avhen it shall 
please you better to conceive of me, 
humbly to command. 



Sir Henry Sidney to his son Sir Philip 
Sidney. 

Philip, 
By the letters you sent me by Sackford, 
you have discovered unto me your inten- 
tion to go over into the Low Countries, 
to accompany duke Cassimier, who hath 
with so noble offers and by so honour- 
able means invited you : which disposi- 
tion of your virtuous mind, as I must 
needs much commend in you, so when 
I enter into the consideration of mine 
own estate, and call to mind what prac- 
tices, informations, and malicious accu- 
sations, are devised against me ; and 
what an assistance in the defence of those 
causes your presence would be unto me, 
reposing myself so much both upon your 
help and judgment, I strive betwixt ho- 
nour and necessity, what allowance I may 
best give of that motion for your going : 
howbeit, if you think not my matters of 
that weight and difficulty (as I hope they 
be not), but that they may be well 
enough by myself, without your assistance 
or any other, be brought to an honour- 
able end, I will not be against your deter- 
mination. Yet would wish you, before 
your departure, that you come to me to 
the water-side * about the latter end of 
this month, to take your leave of me, 
and so from thence to depart towards 
your intended journey. You must now 
bear with me, that I write not this unto 
you with mine own hand, which I would 
have done, if the indisposition of my body 
had not been such I could not. God 
prosper you in that you shall go about, 
and send you to win much credit and ho- 
nour. And I send you my daUy blessing. 
Your very loving father. 

The 1st of August, 1578. 



LETTER XX. 

Lady Mary Sidney to Edmund Moiineux, 
Esq. 
P^Iolineux, 
I THOUGHT good to put you in remem- 
brance to move my lord chamberlain, 
in my lord's name, to have some other 
room than my chamber, for my lord to 
have his resort unto, as he was wont to 



* His house was at Baynard's Castle, by the 
water-side near St. Paul's. 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



have; or else my lord will be greatly 
troubled when he shall have any matters 
of dispatch ; my lodging, you see, being 
very little, and myself continually sick, 
and not able to be much out of my bed. 
For the night time one roof, with God's 
grace, shall serve us ; for the day time 
the queen will look to have my chamber 
always in a readiness for her majesty's 
coming thither ; and though my lord 
himself can be no impediment thereto 
by his own presence, yet his lordship, 
trusting to no place else to be provided 
for him, will be, as I said before, troubled 
for want of a convenient place for the 
dispatch of such people as shall have 
occasion to come to him. Therefore I 
pray you, in my lord's own name, move 
my lord of Sussex for a room for that 
purpose, and I will have it hanged and 
lined for him with stuff from hens. I 
wish you not to be unmindful hereof : 
and so for this time I leave you to the 
Almighty. From Chiswick, this 11th of 
October 1578. Your very assured loving 
mistress and friend. 



LETTER XXI. 

Sir Henry Sidney to his son Robert Sidney, 
afterwards Earl of Leicester. 

Robin, 
I HEAR well of you, and the company 
you keep, which is of great comfort to 
me. To be of noble parentage usually 
raises an emulation to follow their great 
examples. There can be no greater love 
than of long time hath been, and yet is, 
between sir Harry Nevell and me ; and 
so will continue till our lives end. Love 
you thus we have done, and do. One 
thing I warn you of; arrogate no pre- 
cedency neither of your countrymen nor 
of strangers ; but take your place pro- 
miscuous, with others, according to your 
degree and birthright, with aliens. Fol- 
low your discreet and virtuous brother's 
rule, who with great discretion, to his 
great commendation, won love, and could 
variously ply ceremony with ceremony. 
I hear you have the Dutch tongue suffi- 
ciently, whereof I am glad. You may 
therefore save money and discharge your 
Dutchman ; and do it indeed, and send 
for Mr. White ; he is an honest young 
man, and is fairly honest, and good and 
sound to me and my friends. I send you 



now by Stephen 30/. which you call ar- 
rearages : term it as you will, it is all I 
owe you till Easter ; and 20/. of that, as 
Griffin Madox telleth me, is Harry 
White's. I will send you at or before 
Frankfort mart 60/., either to bring you 
home, or to find you abroad, as you and 
your brother shall agTee, for half a year 
ending at Michaelmas ; so Harry White 
neither hath nor shall have cause to think 
that I am offended with him ; for I can- 
not look for, nor almost wish to hear bet- 
ter of a man than I hear of him ; and 
how I intend to deal with him, you may 
see by the letter I send him. He shall 
have his 20/. yearly, and you your 100/., 
and so be as merry as you may. I thank 
you, my dear boy, for the martern skins 
you writ-e of. It is more than ever your 
elder brother sent me ; and I will thank 
you more if they come, for yet I hear not 
of them, nor ever saw Cassymyre's pic- 
ture. The messenger (of the picture I 
mean) played the knave with you and 
me ; and after that sort you may write to 
him : but if your tokens come I will send 
you such a suit of apparel as shall beseem 
your father's son to wear in any court in 
Germany. Commend me to the doctor 
Simeon's father. I love the boy well. 
I have no more ; but God bless you, my 
sweet child, in this world and for ever ; 
as I in this world find myself happy by 
my children. From Ludlow Castle, this 
28th of October 1 578. Your very loving 
father. 

LETTER XXII. 

Thomas Lord Buckhurst, to Robert Dud- 
ley Earl of Leicester, on the death of 
Sir Philip Sidney. 

My very good lord, 
With great grief do I write these lines 
unto you, being thereby forced to renew 
to your remembrance the decease of that 
noble gentleman your nephew, by whose 
death not only your lordship, and all 
other his friends and kinsfolks, but even 
her majesty and the whole realm besides 
do suffer no small loss and detriment. 
Nevertheless, it may not bring the least 
comfort unto you, that as he hath both 
lived and died in fame of honour and re- 
putation to his name, in the worthy ser- 
vice of his prince and country, and with 
as great love in his life, and with as many 
tears for his death, as ever any had ; so 



Sect. I. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



97 



hath lie also hy his good and godly end 
so greatly testified the assurance of God's 
infinite mercy towards him, as there is no 
doubt but that he now liveth with im- 
mortality, free from the cares and cala- 
mities of mortal misery ; and in j3lace 
thereof, remaineth filled with all hea- 
venly joys and felicities, such as cannot 
be expressed : so as I doubt not, but that 
your lordship in wisdom, after you have 
yielded some while to the imperfection of 
man's nature, will yet in time remember 
how happy in truth he is, and how mi- 
serable and blind we are, that lament his 
blessed change. Her majesty seemeth 
resolute to call liome your lordship, and 
intendeth presently to think of some fit 
personage that may take your place and 
charge. And in my opinion, her ma- 
jesty had never more cause to wish you 
here than now ; I pray God send it 
speedily. I shall not need to enlarge my 
letter with any other matters, for that 
this messenger, your lordship's Avholly 
devoted, can sufficiently inform you of 
all. And so wishing all comfort and 
contentation unto your lordship, I rest 
your lordship's wholly for ever, to use 
and command as your own. From the 
Court, this 3d of November, 1586. Your 
lordship's most assured to command. 



LETTER XXIII. 

Robert Earl of Leicester, to his daughter 
JJorothi/ Countess of Sunderland, on the 
death of the Jiarl her husband, ivho lost 
his life, valiantly fighting for King 
Charles the First, at the battle of Neiu-^ 
beny, 20th September, 1643. 

My dear Doll, 
I KNOW it is no purpose to advise you 
not to grieve ; that is not my intention ; 
for such a loss as yours cannot be re- 
ceived indifferently by a nature so ten- 
der and so sensible as yours ; but though 
your affection to him whom you loved 
so dearly, and your reason in valuing 
his merit (neither of which you could 
do too much), did expose you to the 
danger of that sorrow which now op- 
presseth you ; yet if you consult with 
that affection, and with that reason, I 
am persuaded that you will see cause to 
moderate that sorrow ; for your affection 
to that worthy person may tell you, that 



even to it you cannot justify yourself, 
if you lament his being raised to a de- 
gree of happiness, far beyond any that 
he did or could enjoy upon the earth ; 
such as depends upon no uncertainties, 
nor can suffer no diminution ; and 
wherein, though he knew your suffer- 
ings, he could not be grieved at your 
afflictions. And your reason will assure 
you, that beside the vanity of bemoan- 
ing that which hath no remedy, you of- 
fend him whom you loved, if you hurt 
that person whom he loved. Remember 
how apprehensive he was of your dan- 
gers, and how sorry for any thing that 
troubled you : imagine that he sees how 
you afflict and hurt yourself; you will 
then believe, that though he looks upon 
it without any perturbation, for that 
cannot be admitted, by that blessed 
condition wherein he is, yet he may cen- 
sure you, and think you forgetful of the 
friendship that was between you, if you 
pursue not his desires, in being care- 
ful of yourself, who was so dear unto 
him. But he sees you not ; he knows 
not what you do ; well,, what then ! 
Will you do any thing that would dis- 
please him if he knew it, because he 
is where he doth not know it? I am 
sure that was never in your thoughts ; 
for the rules of your actions were, and 
must be, virtue, and affection to your 
husband, not the consideration of his ig- 
norance or knowledge of what you do ; 
that is but an accident ; neither do I 
think that his presence was at any time 
more than a circumstance, not at all ne- 
cessary to your abstaining from those 
things which might displease him. Assure 
yourself, that all the sighs and tears that 
your heart and eyes can sacrifice unto 
your grief, are not such testimonies of 
your affection as the taking care of 
those whom he loved, that is, of your- 
self and of those pledges of your mutual 
friendship and affection which he hath 
left with you ; and which, though you 
would abandon yourself, may justly chal- 
lenge of you the performance of their 
father's trust, reposed in you, to be 
careful of them. For their sakes, there- 
fore, assuage your grief; they all have 
need of you, and one, es{)ecially, whose 
life, as yet, doth absolutely depend on 
yours. I know you lived happily, and 
so as nobody but yourself could mea- 
sure the contentment of it. I rejoiced 
H 



m 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book U 



at it, and did thank God for making me 
one of the means to procure it for you. 
That now is past, and I will not flatter 
you so much as to say, I think you can 
ever he so happy in this life again : but 
this comfort you owe me, that I may 
see you bear this change and your mis- 
fortunes patiently. I shall be more 
pleased with that than with the other, 
by as much as I esteem virtue and wis- 
dom in you more than any inconstant 
benefits that fortune could bestow upon 
you. It is likely that, as many others 
do, you will use examples to authorise 
the present passion which possesseth 
you ; and you may say, that our Sa- 
viour himself did weep for the death of 
one he loved ; that is true ; but we 
must not adventure too far after his 
example in that, no more than a child 
should run into a river, because he saw 
a man wade through ; for neither his 
sorrow, nor any other passion could 
make him sin ; but it is not so with us. 
He was pleased to take our infirmities, 
but he hath not imparted to us his 
power to limit or restrain them ; for if 
we let our passions loose they will grow 
headstrong, and deprive us of the 
pov/er which we must reserve to our- 
selves, that we may recover the govern- 
ment which our reason and our religion 
ought to have above them. I doubt 
not but your eyes are full of tears, and 
not the emptier for those they shed. 
God comfort you, and let us join in 
prayer to him, that he will be pleased 
to give his grace to you, to your 
mother, and to myself, that all of us 
may resign and submit ourselves en- 
tirely and cheerfully to his pleasure. So 
nothing shall be able to make us unhap- 
py in this life, nor to hinder us from 
being happy in that which is eternal. 
Which that you may enjoy at the end 
of your days, whose number I wish as 
great as of any mortal creature ; and 
that through them all you may find such 
comforts as are best and most necessary 
for you ; it is, and shall ever be, the 
constant prayer of your father that loves 
you dearly. 

Oxford, 10th October, 16^3. 



LETTER XXIV. 

Robert Earl of Leicester to the Queen, at 
Oxford, desiring to know why he was 
dismissed from the office of Lord Lieu- 
tenant of Ireland. 

Madam, 
Suffer yourself, I beseech you, to re- 
ceive from a person, happy heretofore 
in your majesty's good opinio:*, this 
humble petition : That whereas the king 
hath conferred a great honour upon me, 
which now he hath taken from me, after 
a long and expenceful attendance for my 
dispatch ; and after his majesty had di- 
vers times signified, not only to me, but 
to my lord Percy also, his intention to 
seed me into Ireland ; since which, I 
cannot imagine what I have done, to al- 
ter his majesty's just and gracious pur- 
pose towards me. 

And whereas it hath pleased the king 
to tell me lately that he had both ac- 
quainted your majesty at the first, Mdth 
his intention to give me that employ- 
ment, and since, that he would deprive 
me of it ; I humbly conceive it to be very 
likely, that the king hath also told your 
majesty the cause that moved him to it ; 
for I presume, that upon a servant of his 
and yours, recommended to his favour 
by your majesty, he ^vould not put such 
a disgrace without teUing your majesty 
the reason why he did it ; but, as I 
could never flatter myself with any con- 
ceit that I had deserved that honour, so I 
cannot accuse myself neither of having 
deserved to be dispossessed of it in a 
manner so extraordinary, and so unusual 
to the king, to punish without shewing 
the causes of his displeasure. 

In all humility, therefore, I beseech 
your majesty to let me know my faulty 
which I am confident I shall acknow- 
ledge, as soon as I may see it ; for 
though it be too late to offer such satis- 
faction as, being graciously accepted, 
might have prevented the misfortune 
which has fallen upon me ; yet I may 
present the testimonies of my sorrow for 
having given any just cause of offence to 
either of your majesties. 

I seek not to recover my office, ma- 
dam, but your good opinion ; or to obtain 
your pardon, if my fault be but of error ; 
and that I may either have the happi- 
ness to satisfy your majesties that I have 



Sect. I. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



99 



not offended, and so justify my first in- 
nocence, or gain repentance, wliicli I 
may call a second innocence. I must 
confess, this is a g-reat importunity ; but, 
I presume, your majesty will forgive it, 
if you please to consider how much I am 
concerned in that which brings instant 
destruction to my fortune, present dis- 
honour to myself, and the same, for ever, 
to my poor family ; for I might have 
passed away unregarded and unremem- 
bered. But now, having been raised to 
an eminent place, and dispossessed of it 
otherwise than I think any of my prede- 
cessors in that place have been, the usual 
time being not expired, no offence ob- 
jected, nor any recompence assigned ; I 
shall be transmitted to the knowledge of 
following times with a mark of distrust, 
which I cannot but think an infamy, 
full of grief to myself, and of prejudice 
to my posterity. 

For these reasons, I humbly beseech 
your majesty to make my offence to ap- 
pear, that I may undeceive myself, and 
see that it was but a false integrity 
which I have boasted and presumed up- 
on, that others may knovf that which 
yet they can but suspect ; and that I 
may no longer shelter myself under the 
vain protection of a pretended affection 
to the king and your majesty's service, 
nor imder the ext:iise of ignorance or 
infirmity : but let me bear the whole 
burden of disloyalty and ingratitude, 
which admits no protection nor excuse. 
And I humbly promise your majesty, 
that if either of those crimes be proved 
against me, I never will be so impudent 
as to importune you for my pardon. 
But if I be no otherwise guilty than a 
misinformation, or misfortune, many 
times makes men in this world ; then I 
heg leave to think still, that I have 
been a faithful subject and servant to 
the king. And though I renounce all 
other worldly contentments, whilst the 
miseries of these times endure, wherein 
the king, your majesty, and the whole 
kingdom suffer so much that it would 
be a shame for any private man to be 
happy, and a sin to think himself so ; yet 
there is one happiness that I may jus- 
tify ; therefore I aspire unto it, and 
humbly desire it of your majesty, that 
you will be pleased to think of me as of 
your majesty's most faithful and most 
obedient creature. 

9th December, 1643. 



LETTER XXV. 

Algernon Sidney to his father Robert Earl 
of Leicester, 

My Lord, 
The passage of letters from England 
hither is so uncertain, that I did not, 
until within these very few days, hear the 
sad news of my mother's death. I was 
then with the king of Sweden at Nyco- 
pin in Faister. This is the first oppor- 
tunity I have had, of sending to condole 
with your lordship, a loss that is so great 
to yourself and your family; of which 
my sense was not so much diminished in 
being prepared by her long, languishing, 
and certainly incurable sickness, as in- 
creased by the last words and actions of 
her life. I confess, persons in such tem- 
pers are most fit to die, but they are also 
most wanted here ; and we that for a 
while are left in the world are most apt, 
and perhaps with reason, to regret most 
the loss of those we most want. It may 
be, light and human passions are most 
suitably employed upon human and 
worldly things, wherein we have some 
sensible concernment ; thoughts, abso- 
lutely abstracted from ourselves, are 
more suitable unto that steadiness of 
mind that is much spoken of, little sought, 
and never found, than that which is seen 
amongst men. It were a small compli- 
ment for me to offer your lordship to 
leave the employment in which I am, if 
I may in any thing be able to ease your 
lordship's solitude. If I could propose 
that to myself, I would cheerfully leave 
a condition of much more pleasure and 
advantage than I can with reason hope 
for. 

LETTER XXVI. 

Dr. Sharp to the Duke of Buckingham ; 
with Queen Elizabeth's speech to her 
army at Tilbury Fort, 

I REMEMBER, in eighty-ciglit, waiting 
upon the earl of Leicester at Tilbury 
camp, and in eighty-nine going into 
Portugal with my noble master, the earl 
of Essex, I learned somewhat fit to be 
imparted to your grace. 

The queen, lying in the camp one 

night, guarded with her army, the old 

lord treasurer Burleigh capie thither, 

and delivered to the earl the examina- 

H % 



100 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



tion of Don Pedro, who was taken and 
brought in by sir Francis Drake, which 
examination the earl of Leicester de- 
livered unto me to publish to the army 
in my next sermon. The sum of it was 
this : 

Don Pedro being asked, what was the 
intent of their coming, stoutly answered 
the lords, What, but to subdue your na- 
tion, and root it out? 

Good, said the lords ; and what meant 
you then to do with the Catholics. He 
answered. We meant to send them (good 
men) directly unto Heaven, as all you 
that are heretics to Hell. Yea, but said 
the lords, What meant you to do with 
your whips of cord and wire ? (whereof 
they had great store in their ships) 
What ? said he ; we meant to whip you 
heretics to death, that have assisted my 
master's rebels, and done such dishonours 
to our Catholic king and people. Yea, 
but what would you have done, said they, 
with their young children ? They, said 
he, which were above seven years old, 
should have gone the way their fathers 
went ; the rest should have lived, branded 
in the forehead with the letter L. for 
Lutheran, to perpetual bondage. 

This, I take God to witness, I re- 
ceived of those great lords upon exami- 
nation taken by the council, and by 
commandment delivered it to the army. 

The queen, the next morning, rode 
through all the squadrons of her army, 
as armed Pallas, attended by noble foot- 
men, Leicester, Essex, and Norris, then 
lord marshal, and divers other great lords, 
where she made an excellent oration to 
her army, which the next day after her 
departure I was commanded to redeliver 
to all the army together, to keep a pub- 
lic fast. Her words were these : — 

" My loving people, we have been 
persuaded by some that are careful of 
our safety, to take heed how we com- 
mit ourself to armed multitudes for fear 
of treachery : but I assure you, I do not 
desire to live to distrust my faithful and 
loving people. Let tyrants fear ; I have 
always so behaved myself, that under 
God I have jilaced my chiefest strength 
and safeguard in the layal hearts and 
goodwill of my subjects. And there- 
fore I am come amongst you as you see 
at this time, not for my recreation and 
disport, but being resolved in the midst 
and licat of the battle to live or die 
amongst you all, to lay down for my God, 



and for my kingdom, and for my peo- 
ple, my honour, and my blood, even in 
the dust. I know I have the body but 
of a weak and feeble woman, but I have 
the heart and stomach of a king, and 
of a king of England too ; and think 
foul scorn, that Parma, or Spain, or 
any prince in Europe, should dare to 
invade the borders of my realm ; to 
which, rather than any dishonour should 
grow by me, I myself will take up arms, 
I myself will be your general, judge, 
and rewarder of every one of your virtues 
in the field. I know already for your 
forwardness you have deserved rewards 
and crowns ; and we do assure you, in 
the word of a prince, they shall be duly 
paid you. In the mean time, my lieu- 
tenant general shall be in my stead, 
than whom never prince commanded a 
more noble or worthy subject : not 
doubting but by your obedience to my 
general, by your concord in the camp, 
and your valour in the field, we shall 
shortly have a famous victory over those 
enemies of my God, of my kingdoms, 
and of my people." 

This I thought would delight your 
grace, and no man hath it but myself, 
and sucli as I have given it to ; and 
therefore I made bold to send it unto 
you, if you have it not already. 



LETTER XXVII. 

Lord Bacon to James I. 

It may please your most excellent 
majesty, 
I DO many times with gladness, and for 
a remedy of my other labours, revolve in 
my mind the great happiness which God 
(of his singular goodness) hath accumu- 
lated upon your majesty every way ; 
and how complete the same would be, 
if the state of your means were once 
rectified and well ordered ; your people 
military and obedient, fit for war, used 
to peace ; your church enlightened with 
good preachers, as an heaven with stars ; 
your judges learned, and learning from 
you ; just, and just by your example ; 
your nobility in a right distance between 
crown and people, no oppressors of the 
people, no overshadowers of the crown; 
your council full of tributes of care, 
faith, and freedom ; your gentlemen 
and justices of peace willing to apply 



Sect. 1. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



101 



your royal mandates to the nature of 
their several counties, but ready to obey ; 
your servants in awe of your wisdom, in 
hope of your goodness ; the fields grow- 
ing every day, by the improvement and 
recovery of grounds, from the desert to 
the garden ; the city grown from wood 
to brick ; your sea-walls, or pomeriuju of 
your island surveyed, and in edifying ; 
your merchants embracing the wliole 
compass of the world, east, west, north, 
and south ; the times giving you peace, 
and yet offering you opportunities of 
action abroad ; and, lastly, your excellent 
royal issue entailing these blessings and 
favours of God to descend to all poste- 
rity. It resteth, therefore, that God 
having done so great things for your ma- 
jesty, and you for others, you would do 
so much for yourself as to go through 
(according to your good beginnings) 
with the rectifying and settling of your 
estate and means, which only is wanting. 
Hoc rebus defuit unum. I, therefore, 
whom only love and duty to your ma- 
jesty and your royal line hath made a 
financier, do intend to present unto your 
majesty a perfect book of your estate, 
like a perspective glass, to draw your 
estate near to your sight ; beseeching 
your majesty to conceive, that if I have 
not attained to that tliat 1 would do in 
this which Is not proper for me, nor in 
my element, I shall make your majesty 
amends in some other thing in which I 
am better bred. God ever preserve, &c. 

LETTER XXVIII. 

Sir Walter Raleigh to James I. 

It is one part of the office of a just and 
worthy prince to hear the complaints 
of his vassals, especially such as are in 
great misery. I know not, amongst 
many other presumptions gathered 
against me, how your majesty hath been 
persuaded that I was one of them who 
were greatly discontented, and therefore 
the more likely to prove disloyal. But 
the great God so relieve me in both 
worlds as I was the contrary ; and I 
took as great comfort to behold your ma- 
jesty, and always learned some good, and 
bettering my knowledge by hearing your 
majesty's discourse. I do most humbly 
beseech your sovereign majesty not to 
believe any of those in my particular, 
who, under pretence of offences to kings, 



do easily work their particular revenge. 
I trust no man, under the colour of 
making examples, should persuade your 
majesty to leave the word merciful out of 
your style ; for it will be no less profit to 
your majesty, and become your greatness, 
than the word invincible. It is true, 
that the laws of England are no less 
jealous of the kings than Csesar was of 
Pompey's wife ; for notwithstanding she 
was cleared for having company with 
Claudius, yet for being suspected he: 
condemned her. For myself, I protest 
before Almighty God, and I speak it to 
my master and sovereign, that I never 
invented treason against him ; and yet I 
know t shall fall in manibus eorum, a qui- 
bus non possum evadere, unless by your 
majesty's gracious compassion I be sus- 
tained. Our law therefore, most merci- 
ful prince, knowing her own cruelty, and 
knowing that she is wont to compound 
treason out of presumptions and circum- 
stances, doth give this charitable advice 
to the king her supreme, Non solum sa- 
piens esse sed et misericors, &c. Cmn 
tutius sit reddere rationetn misericordice 
quam judicii. I do, therefore, on the 
knees of my heart beseech your majesty, 
from your own sweet and comfortable 
disposition, to remember that I have 
served your majesty twenty years, for 
which your majesty hath yet given me 
no reward : and it is fitter I should be 
indebted unto my sovereign lord, than 
the king to his poor vassal. Save me 
therefore, most merciful prince, that I 
may owe your majesty my life itself, than 
which there cannot be a greater debt. 
Limit me at least, my sovereign lord, 
that I may pay it for your service when 
your majesty shall please. If the law 
destroy me, your majesty shall put me 
out of your power, and I shall have none 
to fear but the King of kings. 



LETTER XXIX. 

Sir Walter Raleigh to Sir Robert Car. 

Sir, 
After many losses and many years sor- 
rows, of both which I have cause to fear 
I was mistaken in their ends, it is come 
to my knowledge, that yourself (Avhom 
I know not but by an honourable favour) 
hath been persuaded to give me and 
mine my last fatal blow, by obtaining 
from his majesty the inheritance of my 



102 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book 11. 



cflildren and nephews, lost in law for 
want of a word. This done, there re- 
maineth nothing' with me but the name 
of life. His majesty, whom I never of- 
fended (for I hold it unnatural and un- 
manlike to hate goodness), staid me at 
the grave's brink ; not that I thought his 
majesty thought me worthy of many 
deaths, and to behold mine cast out of 
the world with myself, but as a king 
that knoweth the poor in truth, hath 
received a promise from God, that his 
throne shall be established. 

And for you, sir, seeing your fair day 
is but in the dawn, mine drawn to the 
setting ; your own virtues and the king's 
grace assuring you of many fortunes and 
much honour ; I beseech you begin not 
your first building upon the ruins of the 
innocent, and let not mine and their sor- 
rows attend your lii'st plantation. I have 
ever been bound to your nation, as well 
for many other graces, as for the true 
report of my trial to the king's majesty ; 
against whom had I been malignant, the 
hearing of my cause would not have 
changed enemies into friends, malice 
into compassion, and the minds of the 
greatest number then present into the 
commiseration of mine estate. It is not 
the nature of foul treason to beget such 
fair passions : neither could it agree with 
the duty and love of faithful subjects 
(especially of your nation) to bewail his 
overthrow that had conspired against their 
most natural and liberal lord. 1 there- 
fore trust that you will not be the first 
that shall kill us outright, cut down the 
tree with the fruit, and undergo the curse 
of them that enter the fields of the fa- 
therless ; which, if it please you to know 
the truth, is far less in value than in 
fame. But that so worthy a gentleman 
as yourself will rather bind us to you 
(being six gentlemen not base in birth 
and alliance which have interest therein) ; 
and myself, with my uttermost thankful- 
ness, will remain ready to obey your 
commandments. 



LETTER XXX. 

Sir Walter Raleigh to Prince. Henrj/, son 
of James I. 

May it please your highness. 
The following lines are addressed to 
your highness from a man who values 



his liberty, and a very small fortune in a 
remote part of this island, under the 
present constitution, above all the riches 
and honours that he could any where 
enjoy under any other establishment. 

You see, sir, the doctrines that are 
lately come into the world, and how far 
the phrase has obtained of calling your 
royal father, God's vicegerent ; which ill 
men have turned both to the dishonour 
of God, and the impeachment of his ma- 
jesty's goodness. They adjoin vicege- 
rency to the idea of being aU-powerful, 
and not to that of being all-good. His 
majesty's wisdom, it is to be hoped, will 
save him from the snare that may lie 
under gross adulations : but your youth, 
and the thirst of praise which I have 
observed in you, may possibly mislead 
you to hearken to these charmers, who 
would conduct your noble nature into 
tyranny. Be careful, O my prince ! Hear 
them not, fly from their deceits ; you are 
in the succession to a throne, from whence 
no evil can be imputed to you, but aU. 
good must be conveyed from you. Your 
father is called the vicegerent of Heaven ; 
while he is good, he is the vicegerent of 
Heaven. Shall man have authority from 
the fountain of good to do evil ? No, my 
prince 5 let mean and degenerate spirits, 
which want benevoleni^e, suppose your 
power impaired by a disability of doing 
injuries. If want of power to do ill be 
an incapacity in a prince, with reverence 
be it spoken, it is an incapacity he has in 
common with the Deity. Let me not 
doubt but all pleas, which do not carry in 
them the mutual happiness of prince and 
people, will appear as absurd to your great 
understanding, as disagreeable to your 
noble nature. Exert yourself, O gene- 
rous prince, against such sycophants, in 
the glorious cause of liberty ; and as- 
sume such an ambition worthy of you, ta 
secure your feUow-creatures from slavery ; 
from a condition as much below that of 
brutes, as to act without reason is less 
miserable than to act against it. Pre- 
serve to your future subjects the divine 
right of free agents ; and to your own 
royal house the divine right of being 
their benefactors. Believe me, my 
prince, there is no other right can flov/ 
from God. While your highness is foi*m- 
ing yourself for a throne, consider the 
laws as so many common-places in youi* 
study of the science of government ; when 
you mean nothing but justice they are an 



Sect. I. 



xMODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



103 



ease and help to yoii. This way of 
tliinkiiig is ^Yllat gave men the giorioiis 
appellations of deliverers and fathers of 
their country ; this made the sight of 
them rouse their beholders into acclama- 
tions, and mankind incapable of bearing- 
their yery appearance, Tvithout applaud- 
ing it as a benefit. Consider the inex- 
pressible advantages which will ever at- 
tend yoiu- highness, while you make the 
power of rendering men happy the mea- 
sure of your actions ; while this is your 
impulse, how easily ^^iil that power be 
extended ! The glance of your eye v»'ill 
give gladness, and your very sentence 
have a force of beauty. "VVTiatever some 
men would insinuate, you have lost yoiu* 
subjects when you have lost their incli- 
nations. You are to preside over the 
minds, not the bodies of men ; the soul 
is the essence of the man, and you can- 
not have the true man against his incli- 
nations. Chuse therefore to be the king 
or the conqueror of your people ; it may 
be submission, but it cannot be obedience 
that is passive. I am, sir, your high- 
iiess's most faithful servant. 
London, Aug. 12, 1611. 

LETTER XXXT. 

Lord Bacon to James I. after his disgrace. 
To the King. 

It may please your most excellent 
Majesty, 
In the midst of my misery, vihicli is 
rather assuaged by remembrance than by 
hope, my chiefest Yvorldly comfort is to 
think, that since the time I had the first 
vote of the commons house of parlia- 
ment for commissioner of the union, 
until the time that I was, by this last par- 
liament, chosen by both houses for their 
messenger to your majesty in the petition 
of religion (which two were my first and 
last services), I was evermore so happy 
as to have my poor services graciously 
accepted by your majesty, and likcAvise 
not to have had any of them miscarry in 
my hands ; neither of which points i can 
any wise take to myself, but ascribe the 
former to your majesty's goodness, and 
the latter to youi' prudent directions, 
which I was ever carefid to have and 
keep. For, as I have often said to your 
majesty, I was towards you but as a 
bucket and cistern, to draw forth and 
conserve, whereas vourself was the foun- 



tain. Unt(r this comfort of nineteen 
years prosperity, there succeeded a com- 
fort even in my greatest adversity, some- 
what of the same natm-e, which is, that 
in those oifences wherewith I was charg- 
ed, there was not any one that had spe- 
cial relation to your majesty, or any 
your particular commandments. For as 
towards Almighty God there are offen- 
ces against the first and second table ;, and 
yet all against God ; so with the servants 
of kmgs, there are offences more imme- 
diate against the sovereign, although 
all offences against law are also against, 
the king. Unto Avhich comfort there is 
added this circumstance, that as my 
faults were not against your majesty, 
otherwise than as all faults are ; so my 
fall was not your majesty's act, otherwise 
than as ail acts of justice are yours. 
This I write not to insinuate with your 
majesty, but as a most humble appeal to 
your majesty's gracious remembrance, 
how honest and direct you have ever 
found me in your service, whereby I 
have an assured belief, that there is in 
your majesty's ovni princely thoughts a 
great deal of serenity and clearness to- 
wards me, your majesty's novr prostrate 
and cast down servant. 

Neither, my most gracious sovereign, 
do I, by this mention of my former ser- 
vices, lay claim to your princely graces 
and bounty, though the privilege of cala- 
mity doth bear that form of petition. I 
know well, had they been much more, 
they had been but my bounden duty; 
nay, I must also confess, that they were 
from time to time, far above my merit, 
over and super-rewarded by your ma- 
jesty's benefits, which you heaped upon 
me. Your majesty was and is that 
master to me, that raised and advanced 
me nine times, thrice in dignity, and six 
times in offices. The places were indeed 
the painfiiUest of all your services ; but 
then they had both honour and profits ; 
and the then profits might have main- 
tained my now honours, if I had been 
wise ; neither was your majesty's im- 
mediate liberality wanting towards me 
in some gifts, if I may hold them. All 
this I do most thankfully acknowledge, 
and do herewith conclude, that for any 
thing arising fi'om myself to move youi- 
eye of pity tOMards me, there is much 
more in my present misery than in my 
past services ; save that the same, your 



104 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book 11. 



majesty's goodness, that n^ay give relief 
to the one, may give vahie to the othei'. 
And, indeed, if it may please your 
majesty, this theme of my misery is so 
plentiful, as it need not be coupled with 
any thing* else. I ];iave been somebody 
by your majesty's sing-ular and unde- 
served favour, even the prime officer of 
your kingdom. Your majesty's arm 
hath often been laid over mine in coun- 
cil, when you presided at the table ; so 
near was I ! I have borne your majesty's 
imag-e in metal, much more in my heart. 
I was never, in nineteen years service, 
chidden by your majesty ; but contrari- 
wise, often overjoyed when your majesty 
would sometimes say, 1 was a good hus- 
band for you, though none for myself; 
sometimes, that I had a way to deal in 
business suavibus modis, which was the 
way which was most according to your 
own heart ; and other most gracious 
speeches, of affections and trust, which 
1 feed on to this day. But why should 
I speak of these things, which are now 
vanished, but only the Letter to express 
my downfal ? 

For now it is thus with me : I am a 
year and a half '^' old in misery ; though 
I must ever acknowledge, not without 
some mixture of your majesty's grace 
and mercy. For I do not think it possi- 
ble that any one, v/hom you once loved, 
should be totally miserable. Mine own 
means, through my own improvidence, 
are poor and weak, little better than my 
father left me. The poor things that I 
have had from your majesty are either in 
question or at courtesy. My dignities 
remain marks of your past favour, but 
burdens of my present fortune. The 
poor remnants which 1 had of my for- 
mer fortunes in plate or jewels, I have 
spread upon poor men unto whom I 
owed, scarce leaving myself a convenient 
subsistence ; so as to conclude, I must 
pour out my misery before your majesty 
so far as to say. Si tu deserts, perhnus. 

But as I can offer to your majesty's 
compassion little arising from myself to 
move you, except it be my extreme 
misery, which 1 have truly opened : so 
looking up to your majesty's own self, 1 
should think 1 committed Cain's fault, 
if I should despair. Your majesty is a 
king whose heart is as unscrutable for 

••i"- Thcrcforn this was wrote near the middle 
of the vear 1()22. 



secret motions of goodness, as for depth 
of v/isdom. You are creator-like, fac- 
tive not destructive : you are the prince 
in whom hath ever been noted an aver- 
sion against any thing that favoured of 
an hard heart : as on the other side, 
your princely eye was wont to meet with 
any motion that was made on the re- 
lieving part. Therefore, as one tliat 
hath had the happiness to know your 
majesty near-hand, I have, most gra- 
cious sovereign, faith enough for a mira- 
cle, and much more for a grace, that 
your majesty will not suffer your poor 
creature to be utterly defaced, nor blot 
the name quite out of your book, upon 
M'liich your sacred hand hath been so 
oft for the giving him new ornaments 
and additions. 

Unto this degree of compassion, I 
hope God (of whose mercy towards me, 
both in my prosperity and adversity, 1 
have had great testimonies and pledges, 
though mine own manifold and wretched 
unthankfulness might have averted them) 
will dispose your princely heart, al- 
ready prepared to all piety you shall do 
for mef. And as all commiserable per- 
sons (especially such as find their hearts 
void of all malice) are apt to think that 
all men pity them, so I assure myself 
that the lords of your council, who, out 
of their wisdom and nobleness, cannot 
but be sensible of human events, will in 
this way which I go for the relief of my 
estate, further and advance your ma- 
jesty's goodness towards me ; for there 
is, as I conceive, a kind of fraternity be- 
tween great men that are, and those that 
have been, being but the several tenses 
of one verb. Nay, 1 do farther presume, 
that both houses of parliament will love 
their justice the better, if it end not in 
my ruin : for I have been often told by 
many of my lords, as it were in the way 
of excusing the severity of the sentence, 
that they know they left me in good 
hands. And your majesty knoweth well 
I have been all my life long acceptable 
to those assemblies : not by flattery, but 
by moderation, and by honest express- 
ing of a desire to have all things go 
fairly and well. 

But if it may please your majesty (for 
saints 1 shall give them reverence, but 
no adoration •, my addrjj^s is to your 

f Vouchsafe to express towards me, 



Sect. I. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



105 



majesty, the fountain of goodness) your 
majesty sliall, by the grace of God, not 
feel that in gift which I shall extremely 
feel in help ; for my desires are moderate, 
and my com'ses measured to a life or- 
derly and reserved, hoping still to do 
your majesty honour in my way ; only 
i most humbly beseech your majesty to 
give me leave to conclude with these 
words, which necessity speaketh : Help 
me, dear sovereign, lord and master, 
and pity so far, as that I, that have borne 
a bag, be not now in my age, forced in 
effect to bear a wallet ; nor that I, that 
desire to live to study, may not be driven 
to study to live. I most humbly crave 
pai'don of a long letter after a long si- 
lence. God of heaven ever bless, pre- 
serve, and prosper your majesty. Your 
majesty's poor ancient servant and beds- 



LETTER XXXII. 

Lord Baltimore to Lord Wentiuorth, af- 
terwards Earl of Strafford. 

My lord. 
Were not my occasions such as neces- 
sarily keep me here at this time, I would 
not send letters, but fly to you myself 
with all the speed I could, to express 
my own grief, and to take part of 
yours, which I know is exceedingly 
great, for the loss of so noble a lady, 
so virtuous and so loving a wife. There 
are few, perhaps?, can judge of it better 
than I, Avho have been a long time my- 
self a man of sorrows. But all things, 
my lord, in this world pass away statii- 
tiim est, wife, children, honour, wealth, 
friends, and what else is dear to flesh and 
blood ; they are but lent us till God 
please to call for them back again, that 
we may not esteem any thing our own, 
or set our hearts upon any thing but 
him alone, who only remains for ever. I 
beseech his almighty goodness to grant 
that your lordship may, for his sake, 
bear this great cross with meekness and 
patience, whose only son, our dear Lord 
and Saviour, bore a greater for you ; 
and to consider that these humiliations, 
though they be very bitter, yet are they 
sovereign medicines ministered unto us 
by our heavenly physician to cure the 
sicknesses of our souls, if the fault be not 
ours. Good my lord, bear with this ex- 
cess of zeal in a friend whose great af- 



fection to you transports him to dwell 
longer upon this melancholy theme than 
is needful to your lordship, whose own 
wisdom, assisted with God's grace, I 
hope, suggests unto you these and bet- 
ter resolutions than I can offer unto your 
remembrance. All 1 have to say more 
is but this, that I humbly and heartily 
pray for you to dispose of yourself and 
your affairs (the rites being done to the 
noble creature) as to be able to remove, 
as soon as conveniently you may, from 
those parts, where so many things re- 
present themselves unto you, as to make 
your wound bleed afresh ; and let us 
have you here, where the gracious Avel- 
come of your master, tlie conversation 
of your friends, andvariety of businesses, 
may divert your thoughts the sooner from 
sad objects ; the continuance whereof 
wiU but endanger your health, on which 
depends the welfare of your children, 
the comfort of your friends, and many 
other good things, for which 1 hope God 
will reserve you, to whose divine favour 
I humbly recommend you, and remain 
ever your lordship's most affectionate and 
faithful servant. 

From my lodging in Lincolns- 
Inn-Fields, Oct, 11, 1631. 



LETTER XXXIII. 

Lord IVentworth to Archbishop Laud. 

May it please your grace, 
I AM gotten hither to a poor house I 
have, having been this last week almost 
feasted to death at York. In truth, for 
any thing I can find, they were not ill 
pleased to see me. Sure I am, it much 
contented me to be amongst my old ac- 
quaintance, which I would not leave for 
any other affection I have, but to that 
which I both profess and owe to the i)er- 
son of his sacred majesty. Lord ! with 
\vhat quietness in myself could I live in 
comparison of that noise and labour I 
met with elsewhere ; and I protest put 
up more crowns in my purse at the year's 
end too. But we'll let that pass. For I 
am not like to enjoy that blessed condi- 
tion upon earth. And therefore my re- 
solution is set, to endure and struggle 
with it so long as this crazy body will 
bear it ; and finally drop into the silent 
gr.ave, M'here both all these (which I 
now could, as I think, innocentlv de- 



106 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



light myself in) and myself are to be 
forgotten ; and fare them well. I per- 
suade myself exuio lepido I am able to 
lay them down very quietly, and yet 
leave behind me, as a truth not to be 
forgotten, a perfect and full remem- 
brance of my being your grace's most 
humbly to be commanded. 

Gawthorp, the 17th of Aug. 1636. 



LETTER XXXIV. 
Charles I. to Lord Weniivorth. 

Wentworth, 
Certainly I should be much to blame 
not to admit so good a servant as you are 
to speak with me, since I deny it to none 
that there is not a just exception against ; 
yet I must freely tell you, that the cause 
of this desire of yours, if it be known, 
will rather hearten than discourage your 
enemies ; for, if they can once find that 
you apprehend the dark setting of a 
storm, when I say No, they will make you 
leave to care for any thing in a short 
while but for your fears. And, believe it, 
the marks of my favours that stop mali- 
cious tongues are neither places nor titles, 
but the little welcome I give to accusers, 
and the willing ear I give to my servants ; 
this is, not to disparage those favours 
(for envy flies most at the fairest mark), 
but to shew their use ; to wit, not to 
quell envy, but to reward service ; it be- 
ing truly so, when the master without 
the servant's importunity does it ; other- 
wise men judge it more to proceed from 
the servant's wit, than the master's fa- 
vour. I will end with a rule, that may 
serve for a statesman, a courtier, or a 
lover : Never make a defence or apology 
before you be accused. And so I rest 
your assured friend. 

Lindhurst, 3d Sept. 1636. 

For my lord marshal, as you have armed 
me, so I warrant you. 

LETTER XXXV. 

Charles I. to the Earl of Strafford, 

Strafford, 
The misfortune that is fallen upon you 
by the strange mistaking and conjuncture 
of these times being such, that I must 



lay by the thought of employing* you 
hereafter in my affairs ; yet I cannot 
satisfy myself in honour or conscience, 
without assuring you (now in the midst 
of your troubles) that, upon the word of 
a king, you shall not suffer in life, 1 
honour, or fortune. This is but justice, w 
and therefore a very mean reward from a 
master to so faithful and able a servant 
as you have shewed yourself to be ; yet ■ 
it is as much as I conceive the present ■ 
times will permit, though none shall 
hinder me from being your constant 
faithful friend. 

WliitehaU, April 23, 1641. 



LETTER XXXVl. 

Earl of Strafford to his Son. 

My dearest Will, 
These are the last lines that you are to 
receive from a father that tenderly loves 
you. I wish there were a greater leisure 
to impart my mind unto you ; but our 
merciful God will supply all things by 
his grace, and guide and protect you in 
all your ways : to whose infinite goodness 
I bequeath you ; and therefore be not 
discouraged, but serve him, and trust in 
him, and he will preserve and prosper 
you in aU things. 

Be sure you give all respect to my 
wife, that hath ever had a great love 
unto you, and therefore wiU be well be- 
coming you. Never be wanting in your 
love and care to your sisters, but let them 
ever be most dear unto you ; for this will 
give others cause to esteem and respect 
you for it, and is a duty that you owe 
them in the memory of your excellent 
mother and myself ; therefore your care 
and affection to them must be the very 
same that you are to have of yourself ; 
and the like regard must you have to 
your youngest sister ; for indeed you 
owe it to her also both for her father 
and mother's sake. 

Sweet Will, be careful to take the ad- 
vice of those friends which are by me de- 
sired to advise you for your education. 
Serve God diligently morning and even- 
ing, and recommend yourself unto him, 
and have him before your eyes in all 
your ways. With patience here the in- 
structions of those friends I leave with 
you, and diligently follow their counsel ; 
for, till you come by time to have ex- 



Sect. I. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



107 



perience in the world, it mU. be far more 
safe to trust to their judgmeuts than 
your own. 

Lose not the time of yoiu* youth , but 
gather those seeds of virtue and know- 
ledge which may be of use to yourself, 
and comfort to your fi*iends, for the rest 
of your life. And that this may be the 
better effected, attend thereunto with pa- 
tience, and be sure to correct and refrain 
yourself from anger. Siiffer not sorrow 
to cast you down, but with cheerfulness 
and good courage go on the race you 
have to run in all sobriety and truth. Be 
sure with an hallowed care to have re- 
spect to all the commandments of God, 
and give not yourself to neglect them in 
the least things, lest by degrees you 
come to forget them in the greatest ; for 
the heart of a man is deceitful above all 
things. And in all your duties and de- 
votions towards God, rather perform 
them joyfully than pensively, for God 
loves a cheerful giver. For your reli- 
gion, let it be directed according to 
that which shall be taught by those 
wliich are in God's church, the proper 
teachers, therefore, rather than that you 
ever either fancy one to yourself, or be 
led by men that are singular in their own 
opinions, and delight to go ways of their 
own finding out ; for you will certainly 
find soberness and truth in the one, and 
much unsteadiness and vanity in the 
other. 

Tlie king, I trust, will deal graciously 
with you, restore you those honours and 
that fortune which a distempered time 
hath deprived you of, together with the 
life of your father : which I rather ad- 
vise might be by a new gift and creation 
from himself, than by any other means, 
to the end you may pay the thanks to 
him without having obligation to any 
other. 

Be sure you avoid as much as you can 
to inquire after those that have been 
sharp in their judgments towards me ; 
and I charge you never to suffer thought 
<of revenge to enter your heart ; but be 
<!areful to be informed who were my 
friends in this prosecution, and to them 
apply yourself to make them your friends 
also ; and on such you may rely, and be- 
stow much of your conversation amongst 
them. 

And God Almighty of his infinite 
goodness bless you and your children's 
children; and his same goodness bless 



your sisters in like manner, perfect you 
in every good work, and give you right 
understandings in all things. Amen. 
Your most loving father. 

Tower, this 11th of May, 1641. 

You must not fail to behave yourself 
towards my lady Clare, your grand- 
mother, with all duty and observance ; 
for most tenderly doth she love you, and 
hath been passing kind unto me : God 
reward her charity for it. And both in 
this and all the rest, the same that I 
counsel you, the same do I direct also 
to your sisters, that so the same may be 
observed by you all. And once more 
do I, from my very soul, beseech our 
gracious God to bless and govern you in 
all, to the saving you in the day of his 
visitation, and join us again in the com- 
munion of his blessed saints, where is 
fulness of joy and bliss for evermore« 
Amen, Amen. 



LETTER XXXVn. 

Ja?nes, Earl of Derby, to Commissary 
General Ireton, in answer to the sum- 
?7ions sent the JEarl to deliver up the 
Isle of Man. 

Sir, 
I HAVE received your letter with indig- 
nation, and with scorn return you this ' 
answer : That I cannot but wonder 
whence you should gather any hopes that 
I should prove, like you, treacherous to 
my sovereign ; since you cannot be ig- 
norant of the manifest candour of my 
former actings in his late majesty's ser- 
vice, from which principles of loyalty I 
am no whit departed. I scorn your 
proffer ; I disdain your favour ; I abhor 
your reason ; and am so far from deli- 
vering up this island to your advantage, 
that I shall keep it to the utmost of my 
power, and, I hope, to your destruction. 
Take this for your final answer, and for- 
bear any further solicitations ; for if you 
trouble me with any more messages of 
this nature, I will burn your paper, and 
hang up your messenger. This is the 
immutable resolution, and shaU be the 
undoubted practice, of him who accounts 
it his chiefest glory, to be his majesty's 
most loyal obedient subject. 

From Castle-Town, this 12th July, 
1649. 



108 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



LETTER XXXVIIL 

Charles II. to the Duke of York. 

Dear brother, 
I HAVE received yours without a date, in 
which you mention that Mr. Montague 
lias endeavoured to pervert you in your 
religion. I do not doubt but you re- 
member very well the commands I left 
with you at my going away concerning 
that point, and am confident you will ob- 
serve them. Yet the letters that come 
from Paris say, that it is the queen's 
purpose to do all she can to change your 
religion, which, if you hearken to her, 
or any body else in that matter, you 
must never think to see England or me 
again ; and whatsoever mischief shall fall 
on me or my affairs from this time, I 
must lay all upon you, as being the only 
cause of it. Therefore consider well 
what it is, not only to be the cause of 
ruining a brother that loves you so well, 
but also of your king and country. Do 
not let them persuade you either by 
force or fair promises ; for the first they 
neither dare nor will use ; and for the 
second, as soon as they have perverted 
you, they will have their end, and will 
care no more for you. 

I am also informed, that there is a 
purport to put you in the Jesuit's col- 
lege, which I command you upon the 
same gi-ounds never to consent unto. 
And whensoever any body shall go to dis- 
pute with you in religion, do not an- 
swer them at all ; for though you have 
the reason on your side, yet they being 
prepared will have the advantage of any 
body that is not upon the same security 
that they are. If you do not consider 
what I say to you, remember the last 
words of your dead father, which were, 
to be constant to your religion, and 
never to be shaken in it ; which if you do 
not observe, this shall be the last time 
you will ever hear from, dear brother, 
your most affectionate brotlier. 

Cologne, Nov. 10, 1654. 



LETTER XXXIX. 

Oliver Cromwell to his So7i H. Cromwell. 

Son, 
I HAVE seen your letter written unto 



Mr. secretary Thurloe, and do find 
thereby that you are very aj)prehensive 
of the carriage of some persons with you 
towards yourself and the public ajffairs. 
I do believe there may be some particular 
persons who are not very well pleased 
with the present condition of things, and 
may be apt to shew their discontent as 
they have opportunity ; but this should 
not make too great impressions on you. 
Time and patience may work them to a 
better frame of spirit, and bring them to 
see that which for the present seems to 
be hid from them ; especially if they shall 
see your moderation and love towards 
them, whilst they are found in other ways 
towards you : which I earnestly desire 
you to study and endeavour all that lies 
in you, whereof both you and I too shall 
have the comfort, whatsoever the issue 
and event thereof be. 

For what you write of more help, I 
have long endeavoured it, and shall not 
be wanting to send you some fiu'ther ad- 
dition to the council as soon as men can 
be found out who are fit for that trust. I 
am also thinking of sending over to you 
a fit person, who may command the 
north of Ireland, which I believe stands 
in gTcat need of one, and am of your opi- 
nion, that Trevor and Colonel Mervin 
are very dangerous persons, and may be 
made the heads of a new rebellion ; and 
therefore I would have you move the 
council, that they be secured in some very 
safe place, and the farther out of their 
own countries the better. I commend 
you to the Lord, and rest your affec- 
tionate father. 

21 Nov. 1655. 



LETTER XL. 

Lady Mary Cromwell to Henry Cromwell. 

Dear brother. 
Your kind letters do so much engage 
my heart towards you, that I can never 
tell how to express in writing the true 
affection and value I have of you, who 
truly I think none that knows you but 
you may justly claim it from. I must 
confess myself in a great fault in the 
omitting of writing to you and your dear 
wife so long a time ; but I suppose you 
cannot be ignorant of the reason, which 
truly has been the only cause, which is 
this business of my sister Frances and Mr. 



Sect, i, 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



109 



Rich. Truly I can truly say it, for these 
three months I think our family, and my- 
self in particular, have been in the great- 
est confusion and trouble as ever poor 
family can be in ; the Lord tell us his 
* * "^ * in it, and settle us, and make us 
what he would have us to be. I suppose 
you lieard of the breaking- oif the busi- 
ness, and according' to your desire in your 
last letter, as well as I can, I shall give 
you a full account of it, which is this ; 
After a quarter of a year's admissions, my 
father and my lord Warwick began to 
treat about the estate, and it seems my 
lord did not offer that that my father ex- 
pected. I need not name particulars, 
for I suppose you may have had it from 
better hands ; but if I may say the trutlij 
I think it was not so much estate as 
some private reasons, that my father 
discovered to none but my sister Frances, 
and his own family, which was a dislike 
to the young person, which he had from 
some reports of his being a vicious man, 
given to play and such like things, which 
office was done by some that had a 
mind to break oif the match. My sister, 
hearing these things, was resolved to 
know the truth of it, and truly did find 
all the reports to be false that were 
raised of him ; and to tell you the truth, 
they were so much engaged in affection 
before this, that she could not think of 
breaking of it off ; so that my sister 
engaged me, and all the friends she had, 
who truly were very few, to speak in 
her behalf to my father ; which we did, 
but could not be heard to any purpose ; 
only this my father promised, that if he 
were satisfied as to the report, the estate 
shoidd not break it off, v/hicli she was 
satisfied with ; but after this there was 
a second treaty, and my lord Warwick 
desired my father to name what it was 
he demanded more, and to his utmost 
he would satisfy him ; so my father upon 
this made new propositions, which my 
lord Warwick has answered as much as 
he can ; but it seems there is five hun- 
dred pounds a year in my lord Rich's 
hands, which he has power to sell ; and 
there are some people tliat persuaded 
his highness, that it would be dishonour- 
able for him to conclude of it without 
these five hundred pounds a year be set- 
tled upon Mr. Rich after his father's 
death, and my lord Rich having no es- 
teem at all of his son, because he is not 
£LS bad as himself, will not agree to it ; 



and these people upon this persuade my 
father, it would be a dishonour to him 
to yield upon these terms ; it would 
shew, that he was made a fool on by my 
lord Rich ; which the truth is, how it 
should be, I cannot understand, nor very 
few else ; and truly I must tell you 
privately, that they are so far engaged, 
as the match cannot be broke off. She 
acquainted none of her friends with her 
resolution when she did it. Dear bro- 
ther, this is as far as I can tell the state 
of the business. The Lord direct them 
what to do ; and all I think ought to 
beg of God to pardon her in her doing 
of this thing, which I must say truly, 
she was put upon by the * * '^ * of 
things. Dear, let me beg my excuses 
to ray sister for not writing my best 
respects to her. Pardon this trouble, 
and believe me, that I shall ever strive 
to approve myself, dear brother, your 
affectionate sister and servant. 
June 23, 1656. 



LETTER XLI. 

Henry Cromwell to Lord Faulconberg. 

Sept. 8, 1658. 
My lord, 
Although the last letters brought a 
very sad memento of mortality, yet I 
was not well enough prepared to receive 
yours by this post, without (it may be) 
too much consternation. I know the 
highest griefs arising from my natural 
affection to my dear father ought so far 
to give way, as to let me remember my 
present station ; but I see more of this 
kind than I am able to practise; and 
truly when I recollect myself, and con- 
sider the desperate distractions which 
so nearly threaten us, 1 am quite lost in 
the way to the remedy. For 1 may 
truly tell your lordship, that either 
through the design or unfaithfulness of 
my friends, or through their ignorance 
and incompetency for a work of that 
nature, I have never been acquainted 
with the inside either of things or per- 
sons, but fobbed off with intelligence 
about as much differing from Mabbot, as 
he from a Diurnall ; so that 1 can con- 
tribute little to prevent our danger, more 
than by my prayers, and keeping the 
army and people under my charge in a 
good frame. I wish yours may be so 



110 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



kept in Engiand. Methinks some begin 
their meetings very early. It may be 
tliey intend to give the laAv ; but if tliey 
do not keep to what is honest, they 
may meet with disappointments. I do 
heartily thank your lordship for your 
freedom and confidence in me. I am 
sure I cannot plead merit, but shall be 
glad to cherish that sympathy, or what- 
ever else it is that makes me yours. 
I hope I shall always be just to your 
lordship. Some late letters do a little 
revive us, and give hopes of his high- 
ness's recovery ; yet my trovible is ex- 
ceeding great. I remain, &c. 



LETTER XLII. 

Lord'Broghill to Secretary Thurloe. 

Dear sir, 
Though I did on Monday last trou- 
ble you with a letter, yet having now 
also received the honour of another from 
you of the seventh instant, I could not 
but pay you my humble and hearty ac- 
knowledgments for it, and that in such 
a deep affliction as that you are under, 
and that load of business you support, you 
can yet oblige with your letters a person 
so unworthy of them, and so insignificant 
as I am. Your last is so express a pic- 
ture of sorrow, that none could draw it 
so well that did not feel it. I know our 
late loss wounds deeply both the public 
and yourself, and yourself more upon the 
public account than your own. But I 
think sorrow for friends is more tolerable 
while they are dying than after they are 
dead. David's servants reasoned as ill 
as he himself did well ; they concluded, 
if his grief were such when the child was 
but in danger of death, what would it be 
when he knew it was dead ? He took and 
considered the thing another way ; whilst 
there was life, that is, whilst the will of 
God was not declared, he thought it a 
duty to endeavour to move the mercy of 
God by his prayers and sorrow ; but 
when God's pleasure was declared, he 
knew It was a duty cheerfully to yield 
unto it. I know, in the cause of grief 
now before us, I am the unfittest of any 
to offer comfort, which I need as much as 
any ; and I know it is as unfit to offer to 
present it you, who, as you need it most 
of any, so you are ablest to afford it others 
above any : however, this one consider- 



ation of David's actings I could not but 
lay before you, it having proved an ef- 
fectual consolation to me in the death of 
one I but too much loved. But I hope 
your sorrow for what is past does not 
drown your care for what is to come ; 
nay, I am confident of it ; for you that 
can in your sorrow and business mind 
me, makes me know your grief hinders 
us not from enjoying the accustomed 
effects of your care to the public ; and 
while v/hat we pay the dead does not 
obstruct what Ave owe the living, such 
sorrow is a debt, and not a fault. 

In this nation his highness has been 
proclaimed in most of the considerable 
places already, and in others he is daily 
a proclaiming, and indeed with signal 
demonstrations of love to his person, 
and of hope of happiness under his go- 
vernment. 

I heartily join in all the good you say 
of him, and hope witii you he wall be 
happy if his friends stick to him ; amongst 
ail those I know you will ; and I know 
all promises with me are not kept, if you 
are not reckoned by him in the first 
rank, of which I have presumed to mind 
him in a letter I took the confidence to 
write unto him this week. 

But, I fear, while 1 thus trouble you, 
I give the honour of your letters a very 
disproportionate return; and therefore 
I will only now subscribe myself, what I 
am from the bottom of my heart, dear 
sir, your most humble, most faithful, 
and most obliged affectionate servant. 

Ballymallo, the 17th of September, 
1658. 



LETTER XLIII. 

Henry Cromti'ell to Richard Cromwell, 
Protector. 

Sept. 21, 1658. 
May it please your highness, 
I RECEIVED a letter from your highness 
by Mr. UnderAvood, who, according to 
your commands, hath given me a par- 
ticular account of the sickness and death 
of his late highness, my dear father, 
which was such an amazing stroke that 
it did deeply affect the heart of every 
man, much more may it do those of a 
nearer relation. And indeed, for my 
own part, I am so astonished at it, that 
I know not what to say or write upon 



Sect. 1. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



Ill 



this so sad and grievous occasion. I 
know it is our duties upon all accounts 
to give submission to the will of God, 
and to be awakened by this mighty noise 
from the Lord to look into our own 
hearts and ways, and to put our mouths 
in the dust, acknowledging our own 
vileness and sinMness before him ; that 
so, if possible, we may thereby yet obtain 
mercy from him for ourselves and these 
poor nations. As this stroke was very 
stupendous, so the happy news of his late 
highness leaving us so hopeful a foun- 
dation for our future peace, in appoint- 
ing your highness his successor, coming 
along with it to us, did not a little allay 
the other. For my part I can truly say 
I was relieved by it, not only upon the 
public consideration, but even upon the 
account of the goodness of God to our 
poor family, who hath preserved us from 
the contempt of our enemy. I gave a 
late account to IMr. secretary Thurloe 
of what passed about the proclaiming 
your highness here, which, I may say 
T^dthout vanity, was with as great joy 
and general satisfaction, as I believe in 
the best affected places in England. I 
doubt not but to give your highness as 
good an account of the rest of the places 
in Ireland, so soon as the proclamations 
are returned. I did also give some ac- 
comit of the speedy compliance of the 
army, whose obedience your highness 
may justly require at my hands. Now, 
that the God and Father of your late 
father and mine, and your highness's 
predecessor, would support you, and by 
pouring down a double portion of the 
same spirit which was so eminently 
upon him, would enable you to walk in 
liis steps, and to do worthily for his 
name, cause, and people, and continually 
preserve you in so doing, is and shaU be 
the fervent and daily prayer of yours, 
&c. 

LETTER XLIV. 

The Hon. Algernon Sidney to his friend. 

Sir, 
I AM sorry I cannot in all things con- 
form myseK to the advices of my friends ; 
if theirs had any joint concernment with 
mine, I would willingly submit my in- 
terest to theirs ; but when I alone am 
interested, and they only advise me to 
4eome over as soon as the act of indem- 



nity is passed, because they think it is 
best for me, I cannot wholly lay aside 
my own judgment and choice, i con- 
fess, we are naturally inclined to delight 
in our own country, and I have a par- 
ticular love to mine ; and I hope I have 
given some testimony of it. I think 
that being exiled from it is a great evil, 
and would redeem myself from it with 
the loss of a great deal of my blood; 
but when that country of mine, which 
used to be esteemed a paradise, is now 
likely to be made a stage of injury ; the 
liberty which we hoped to establish op- 
pressed, all manner of profaneness, 
looseness, luxury, and lewdness set up 
in its height ; instead of piety, virtue, 
sobriety, and modesty, which we hoped 
God, by our hands, Avould have intro- 
duced ; the best of our nation made a 
prey to the worst ; the parliament, 
court, and army corrupted, the people 
enslaved, aU things vendible, and no 
man safe, but by such evil and infamous 
means as flattery and bribery ; what joy 
can I have in my own country in this 
condition ! Is it a pleasure to see all that 
I love in the world sold and destroyed ? 
ShaU I renounce aU my old principle?, 
learn the vUe court arts, and make my 
peace by bribing some of them? Shall 
their corruption and vice be my safety ? 
Ah ! no ; better is a life among stran- 
gers, than in my own country upon 
such conditions. — Wiiilst I live, I wiU 
endeavour to preserve my liberty ; or, 
at least, not consent to the destroying 
of it. I hope I shaU die in the same 
principles in which I have lived, and 
wiU Uve no longer than they Can pre- 
serve me. I have in my life been guUty 
of many foUies, but, as I think, of no 
meanness. I wUl not blot and defile 
that which is past, by endeavouring to 
provide for the future. I have ever had 
in my mind, that when God should cast 
me into such a condition, as that I can- 
not save my life, but by doing an inde- 
cent thing, he shews me the time is 
come wherein I should resign it. And 
when I cannot live in my own country, 
but by such means as are worse than 
dying in it, I think he shews me I ought 
to keep myself out of it. Let them 
please themselves with making the 
king glorious, who think a whole peo- 
ple may justly be sacrificed for the in- 
terest and pleasure of one man, and a 
few of his followers ; let them rejoice in 



112 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book II. 



their subtilty, who, by betraying the 
former powers, have gained the favour 
of this, not only preserved but advanced 
themselves in those dangerous changes. 
Nevertheless (perhaps) they may hnd 
the king's glory is their shame, his 
plenty the people's misery : and that 
the gaining of an office, or a little mo- 
ney, is a poor reward for destroying a 
nation, which if it were preserved in 
liberty and virtue, would truly be the 
most glorious in the Avorld ! and that 
others may find they have, with much 
pains, purchased their own shame and 
misery : a dear price paid for that which 
is not worth keeping, nor the life that 
is accompanied with it. The honour of 
English parliaments has ever been in 
making the nation glorious and happy, 
not in selling and destroying the interest 
of it, to satisfy the lusts of one man. 
Miserable nation ! that, from so great 
a height of glory, is fallen into the most 
despicable condition in the world, of 
having all its good depending upon the 
breath and will of the vilest persons in 
it ! Cheated and sold by them they trust- 
ed ! Infamous traffic, equal almost in 
guilt to that of Judas ! In all preceding- 
ages, parliaments have been the pillars 
of our liberty, the sure defenders of the 
oppressed : they who formerly could 
bridle kings, and keep the balance equal 
between them and the people, are now 
become the instruments of ail our oppres- 
sions, and a sword in his hand to destroy 
us ; they themselves, led by a few inte- 
rested persons, who are willing to buy 
offices for themselves by the misery of 
the whole nation, and the blood of the 
most worthy and eminent persons in it. 
Detestable bribes, worse than the oaths 
now in fashion in this mercenary court ! 
I mean to owe neither my life nor li- 
berty to any such means : when the 
innocence of my actions will not protect 
me, I will stay away till the storm be 
over-passed. In short, where Vane, 
Lambert, and Haslerigg cannot live in 
safety, I cannot live at all. If I had 
been in England, I should have expected 
a lodging with them : or, though they 
may be the first, as being more eminent 
tlian I, I must expect to follow their 
examjde in suffering, as I have been 
their companion in acting. I am most 
in amaze at the mistaken informations 
that were sent to me by my friends, full 
^f expectations, of favours, and employ- 



ments. Who can think, that they, who 
imprison them, would employ me, or 
suffer me to live when they are put to 
deatli ? If I might live, and employed, 
can it be expected that I should serve a 
government that seeks such detestable 
ways of establishing itself? Ah ! no ; I 
have not learnt to make my own 
peace, by persecuting and betraying my 
brethren, more innocent and worthy 
than myself. I must live by just means, 
and serve to just ends, or not at all, 
after such a manifestation of the ways 
by which it is intended the king shall 
govern. I should have renounced any 
place of favour into which the kindness 
and industry of my friends might have 
advanced me, when I found those that 
were better than I were only fit to be 
destroyed. I had formerly some jea- 
lousies, the fraudulent proclamation for 
indemnity increased the imprisonment 
of those three men ; and turning out 
of all the officers of the army, contrary to 
promise, confirmed me in my resolu- 
tions not to return. 

To conclude ; the tide is not to be 
diverted, nor the oppressed delivered ; 
but God, in his time, will have mercy on 
his people ; he will save and defend them, 
and avenge the blood of those who shall 
now perish, upon the heads of those who, 
in their pride, think nothing is able to 
oppose ti)em. Happy are those whom 
God shall make instruments of his jus- 
tice in so blessed a vrork. If I can live 
to see that day, I shall be ripe for the 
grave, and able to say with joy, Lord ! 
now lettest thou thy servant depart in 
peace. Sec. (So sir Arthur Haslerigg on 
Oliver's death.) Farewell. My thoughts 
as to king and state, depending upon 
their actions, no man shall be a more 
faithful servant to him than I, if he 
make the good and prosperity of his 
people his glory ; none more his enemy, 
if he doth the contrary. To my par- 
ticular friends I shall be constant in all 
occasions, and to you a most affectionate 
servant. 

LETTER XLV. 

Mr. Boyle to the Countess of Ranelagh. 

My dear sister, 
If I were of those scribblers' humour 
who love to put themselves to one 
trouble, to put their friends to another ; 



Sect. I, 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



113 



and who weekly break their silence, only 
to acquaint us with their unwillingness 
to keep it ; I must confess I had much 
oftener written you letters not worth 
the reading. But having- ever looked 
upon silence and respect as things as 
near of kin as importvmity and afifection, 
I elected rather to trust to your good 
opinion, to your good-nature, than your 
patience with my letters : for which to 
suppose a welcome, must have presumed 
a greater kindness, than they could 
have exprest. For I am grown so per- 
fect a villager, and live so removed, not 
only from the roads, but from the very 
bye-paths of intelligence ; that to enter- 
tain you with our country discourse, 
would have extremely puzzled me, 
since your children have not the rickets 
nor the measles ; and as for nev/s, I 
could not have sent you so mucli as that 
of my being well. To beseech you not 
to forget me, were but a bad compli- 
ment to your constancy ; and to tell 
you 1 remember you, were a worse to 
my own judgment ; and compliments of 
the other nature it were not easy for me 
to write from Stalbridge, and less easy 
to write to you : so that wanting all 
themes and strains, that might enable 
me to fill my letters with any thing that 
might pay the patience of reading them, 
I thought it pardonabler to say nothing 
by a respectuous silence, than by idle 
words. But the causes being just so 
many excuses of that silence, I should 
have more need to apologize for my 
letters, if these seemed not necessary to 
prevent the misconstruction of their 
unfrequency ; and if I did not send up 
the antidote with them, in the com- 
pany of my brother Frank ; by whom it 
were equally incongruous and unsea- 
sonable to send you no epistle, and to 
send you a long one ; which (latter) 
that this may not prove, I must hasten 
to assure you, that though I have not 
very lately written you any common let- 
lers, it is not long since I was writing 
you a dedicatory one, which may (pos- 
sibly) have the happiness to convey your 
name to posterity ; and having told you 
this, I shall next take post to beseech 
you to believe, that whensoever you 
shall please to vouchsafe me the honour 
of yoiu- commands, my glad and exact 
obedience shall convince you, that 
though many others may oftener renew 



their bonds, I can esteem myself, by a 
single note under my hand, equally 
engaged to you for all the services that 
may become the relation, and justify the 
professions, that style me, my dear 
sister, your most affectionate brother, 
and faithful humble servant, R. B. 

Stalbridge, this 13th Nov. 1646. 



LETTER XLVL 

From the same to the same. 

My sister, 
I HAVE evel' counted it amongst the 
highest infelicities of friendship, that it 
increasingly reflects upon us our im- 
parted griefs ; for if our friends appear 
unconcerned in them, that indifference 
offends us, and if they resent them, 
sympathy afflicts us . This consideration , 
concurring with my native disposition, 
has made me shy of disclosing my afflic- 
tions, where I could not expect their re- 
dress ; being too proud to seek a relief 
in the being thought to need it, and too 
good a friend to find a satisfaction in 
their griefs I love, or to remit of the 
iU-natured consolation of seeing others 
wretched as well as I. This humour 
may in part inform you of the cause of 
my silence, and, I hope, in part excuse 
it ; but I am not now at leisure to make 
apologies, though I will assure you I de- 
cline the employment for want of time, 
not justice. Since I wrote to you last, I 
was unlikely enough ever to be in a con- 
dition to write to you again ; and my 
danger was so sudden and unexpected, 
that nothing could transcend it, except 
theirs, whose dilatory conversion makes 
them trust eternity to the uncertain 
improvement of a future contingent 
minute of a life obnoxious to numerous 
casualties, as impossible (almost) to be 
numbered as avoided. What God has 
decreed of me, himself best knows ; for 
my part, I shall still pray for a perfect 
resignation to his blessed will, and a re- 
sembling acquiesence in it ; and I hope 
his Spirit will so conform me to his dis- 
pensations, that I may cheerfully, by his 
assignment, either continue my work, 
or ascend to receive my wages. And in 
this I must implore the assistance of 
your fervent prayers, dear sister, which 
I am confident will both find a shorter 
I 



114 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book 1L 



way to heaven, and be better welcomed 
there. These three or four weeks I 
have been troubled with the visits of a 
quotidian ague, which yet had not the 
power to hinder me from three or four 
journeys to serve Frank, and wait upon 
my dear Broghill, nor from continuing 
my Vulcanian feat ; and, in the inter- 
vals of my fits, I both began and made 
some progress in the promised discourse 
of Public Spiritedness ; but now truly 
weakness, and the doctor's prescrip- 
tion, have cast my pen into the fire ; 
though, in spite of their menaces, I 
sometimes presume to snatch it out a 
while, and blot some paper with it. My 
present employment is, the reviewing 
some consolatory thouglits on the loss 
of friends, which my poor lady Susan's 
death obliged me to entertain myself 
with, and which I am now recruiting. 
If ever 1 finish them, I shall trouble 
you to read them ; and if I do not, be- 
seech you to make use of them. The 
melancholy, which some have been 
pleased to misrepresent to you as the 
cause of my distemper, is certainly 
much more the effect of them : neither 
is it either of that quality or that de- 
gree you apprehend, but much more 
just than dangerous : yet, to obey you, 
I shall endeavour a divorce ; and, as 
the properest means, endeavour to wait 
upon you ; in order to which, I came 
this night in a litter to this town, 
whence I intend not to dislodge, till 
God's blessing upon the remedies ena- 
ble me to do it on horseback. The 
kindness you expressed, in the letter I 
received this morning, has brought me 
so high a consolation, that 1 should 
think it cheaply purchased by the oc- 
casion of it, if I had ignored that the 
sole want of suitable opportunities re- 
strained the frequency of resembling 
strains ; and if I were not too well ac- 
quainted with the greatness of your 
goodness, not to derive a higher joy 
from your obliging proffers, as they are 
effects of your friendship, than testimo- 
nies of it. But though I value the 
blessing of your company at the rate of 
having the happiness of more than an 
indifferent acquaintance with you, I 
cannot consent to purchase my felicity 
(if such a thing could be done) by your 
disquiet : for your remove will not more 
certainly discompose your family, than 



it will be useless or unnecessary to me ; 
the nature of my disease being such, 
that it will either frustrate your visit, or 
allow me to do so ; for if in a very short 
time it destroy not, it will leave me 
strength enough to fetch a perfect cure 
of it at London, whither in spite of my 
present distempers, which are not small, 
nor (I fear) very fugitive, the physicians 
would persuade me that, by God's as- 
sistance, I may be able to crawl in a 
short time. I shall beseech you there- 
fore not to stir, until you hear further 
either from me, or of me ; and to be- 
lieve, that though your vis-its are fa- 
vours of too precious a quality to be 
fully receivable from your intention 
only, yet my concern in your quiet will 
make me (in the purposed journey) 
more welcomely resent your design 
than your presence. I hope you will 
pardon the disorder of this scribble to 
that of the writer, who is not only A 
weary of his journey, but is at present i 
troubled with a fit of his ague, which 
yet being but a sickness, cannot impair 
an affection, which will be sure to keep 
me really and unalterably till death, my 
dearest, dearest, dearest sister, your 
most affectionate brother and humble 
servant, R. B, 

Bath, August 2, 1649, late at night. 



LETTER XLVIL 

M^r. Bo7/le to the Countess of Ranelagh, 

My sister, 
I MUST confess that I should be as much 
in debt for your letters, though I had 
answered every one of yours, as he is 
in his creditor's, who for tAvo angels has 
paid back but two shillings : for cer- 
taiidy, if any where, it is in the ductions 
of the mind, that the quality ought to 
measure extent, and assign number and 
equity to multiply excellency, where 
wit has contracted it. I could easily 
evince this truth, and the justness of the 
application too, did I not apprehend 
that your modesty would make you 
mind me, that the nature of my disease 
forbids all strains. I am here, God be 
jjraised, upon the mending hand, though 
not yet exempted from either pain or 
fears ; the latter of which 1 could wish 
(but believe not) as much enemies to my 



Sect. I. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



115 



reason, as I find the former to my quiet, 
I intend notwithstanding-, by God's 
blessing-, as soon as I have here recruited 
and refreshed my purse and self, to ac- 
complish my designed removal to Lon- 
don : my hoped arrival at which 1 look 
on with more joy, as a fruit of my reco- 
very, than a testimony of it. Sir Wil- 
liam and his son went hence this morn- 
ing-, having by the favour (or rather 
charity) of a visit, made me some com- 
pensation for the many I have lately 
received from persons, whose visitations 
(I think I may call them), in spite of my 
averseness to physic, make me find a 
gTeater ti'ouble in tlie congTatulations, 
than the instruments of my recovery. 
You will pardon, perhaps, the bitterness 
of this -expression, when I have told you, 
that having spent most of this week in 
drawing (for my particular use) a quin- 
tessence of wormwood, those disturbers 
of my work might easily shake some few 
drops into my ink. I will not now pre- 
sume to entertain you with those moral 
speculations, with which my chemical 
practices have entertained me ; but if 
this last sickness had not diverted me, I 
had before this presented you with a 
discourse (which my vanity made me 
hope would not have displeased you) of 
the theological use of natural philoso- 
phy, endeavouring to make the con- 
templation of the creatures contributory 
to the instruction of the prince, and to 
the glory of the author of them. But 
my blood has so thickened my ink, that 
I cannot yet make it run ; and my 
thoughts of improving the creatures 
have been very much displaced by those 
of leaving them. Nor has my disease 
been more guilty of my oblivion, than 
my employment since it has begun to 
release me : for Vulcan has so trans- 
ported and bewitched me, that as the 
delights I taste in it make me fancy my 
laboratory a kind of Elysium, so as if 
the threshold of it possessed the quality 
the poets ascribed to that Lethe, their 
fictions made men taste of before their 
entrance into those seats of bliss, I there 
forget my standish and my books, and 
almost all things, but the unchangeable 
resolution I have made of continuing 
till death, sister, your R. B. 

Stalb. Aug. the last, 1649. 



LETTER XLVIII. 

3Jr. Boyle to Lord Broghill. 

My dearest governor, 
I RECEIVE in our separation as much 
of happiness as is consistent with it, in 
hearing of you in so glorious, and from 
you in so obliging a way ; and in being 
assured, by your letters and your actions, 
how true you are to your friendship and 
your gallantry. I am not a little sa- 
tisfied to find, that since you were re- 
duced to leave your Parthenissa, your 
successes have so happily emulated or 
continued the story of Artabanes ; and 
that you have now given romances as 
well credit as reputation. Nor am I 
moderately pleased, to see you as good 
at reducing towns in Munster as Assyria, 
and to find your eloquence as prevalent 
with masters of garrisons as mistresses 
of hearts ; for I esteem the former both 
much the difiiculter conquest, and more 
the usefuUer. Another may lawfully 
exalt your bold attempts and fortunate 
enterprizes ; but, for my part, I think 
that such a celebration would extremely 
misbecome a friendship, to which your 
goodness and my affection flatter me into 
a belief that our relation has rather given 
the occasion than degree. Besides that 
I have so great a concern in all things 
wherein you have any, that the presump- 
tion of my own modesty does, as well 
as the greatness of yours, silence my 
praises. And truly that which most 
endears your acquisitions to me is, that 
they have cost you so little blood. For 
besides that the glory is much more your 
own to reduce places by your own single 
virtue, and the interest it has acquired 
you, than if you had I know not how 
many thousand men to help you, and 
share as much the honour of your suc- 
cesses as they contribute to them ; be- 
sides this consideration, I say, certainly 
though a laurel cro\\Ti were more glo- 
rious amongst the Romans, the myrtle 
coronet (that croTvued bloodless victories) 
ought to be acceptabler to a Christian, 
who is tied by the bindingest principles 
of his religion to a peculiar charity to- 
wards tliose that profess it ; to use to- 
wards delinquents as much gentleness as 
infringes not the just rights of the inno- 
cent : and to be very tender of spilling 
their blood, for whom Christ shed his. 
But I am less delighted to learn your 
I 2 



116 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book 1L 



successes in the world, than to find (by 
your letter to my sister Ranelagh) that 
you mean not that they shall tie you to 
it : and are resolved, as soon as your af- 
fairs and reputation Avill permit you, to 
divest your public employment, and re- 
tire to a quiet privacy, where you may 
enjoy yourself, and have leisure to con- 
sider the vanity of that posthume glory, 
which has nothing in it of certain but 
the uselessness. That, in the hurry of 
businesses that distract you, you could 
find leisure to bless me with your letters, 
is a favour, whicli, though it amaze me 
not, does highly satisfy me. The kind- 
ness they express is welcomer to me for 
what it argues, than for what it pro- 
riiises ; and I am much more pleased to 
see you in a condition of making pro- 
mises, than I should be with their ac- 
complishment. I shall only, in general, 
desire your countenance for tliose that 
manage my fortune in your provuice, 
whither I should wait upon my dearest 
lady M. if black Betty did not ; and se- 
riously, the jade arrived very seasonably 
to save me a journey * for which I was 
but slenderly provided ; for having not 
yet been able to put oflF my L. Goring's 
statute, I am kept in this town, to do 
penance for my transgression of that 
precept, " My son, put money in thy 
purse." But the term assigned my ex- 
piation is, I hope, near expired ; and I 
despair not to see myself shortly in a 
condition to make you a visit, that shall 
prevent the spring's. I shall implore, 
for my lady Pegg, the self same passage 
I shall wish for myself, and solemnize the 
first easterly gale with a 

Farewell, fair saint, may not the seas and 
wind, &c. 

But I am so entirely taken up with the 
contemplation of her and you, that I 
had forgot that I have to write this night 
more letters than the four-and-twenty 
of the alphabet. My next shall give you 
an account of my transactions, my stu- 
dies, and my amours ; of the latter of 
which, black Betty will tell you as many 
lies as circumstances }. but hope you 
know too well what she is, and whence 
she comes, not to take all her stories for 
fictions, almost as great as is the truth 
that styles me my dearest brother, your 
most affectionate brother, and humble 
servant, R. B. 

London, this 20th of Dec. 1649. 



LETTER XLIX. 

From Mr. Boyle to Dame Augustine Cary* 

Madam, 
I KNOW not whether the shame of hav- 
ing been so long in your debt, be greater 
than that of paying it so ill at last ; but 
I am sure it is much harder to be ex- 
cused, and therefore shall not attempt 
it, but leave it to Father Placid's ora- 
tory ; though having failed in the sub- 
stantial part of your business, I have 
little reason to hope he will succeed bet- 
ter in the ceremonial part of mine. The 
truth is, there is so great a difference in 
common sound between. It is done, and. 
It will be done, that I was unwilling to 
acknowledge the honour of having re- 
ceived your ladyship's commands, before 
I had compassed that of obeying them, 
which the marquis here hath so often 
assured me would suddenly fall to my 
share, that I thought we had both equal 
reason, his excellency to do it, and I to 
believe it. This right I must yet do 
him, that I never pressed him in this 
concern of your ladyship's, but he told 
me all my alignments were needless, for 
the thing should be done ; and how to 
force a man that yields, I never under- 
stood : but yet I much doubt that till 
the result be given upon the gross of 
this affair, which is and has been some 
time under view, your part in particular 
will hardly be thought ripe for either his 
justice or favour, which will be rather 
the style it'must run in, if it be a desire 
of exemption from a general rule given 
in the case : whatever person (after the 
father's return) shall be appointed to 
observe the course of this affair, and pur- 
sue the lady's pretensions here, will be 
sure of all the assistance I can at any 
time give him ; though I think it would 
prove a more public service to find some 
Avay of dissolving your society, and by 
that means dispersing so much worth 
about the world, than, by preserving 
you together, confine it to a corner, and 
suffer it to shine so much less, and go 
out so much sooner, than otherwise it 
would. The ill effects of your retreat 
appear too much in the ill success of 
your business ; for I cannot think any 
thing could fail that your ladyship 
would solicit : but, I presume, nothing 
in this lower scene is worthy either 
that, or so much as your desire or care, 



Sect. I. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



117 



which are words that enter not your 
gates, to disturb that perfect quiet and 
indifferency, which I will believe in- 
habit there ; and by your happiness 
decide the long dispute, whether the 
greater lies in wanting nothing, or pos- 
sessing much. 

I cannot but tell you it was unkindly 
done to refresh the memory of your 
brother Da Gary's loss, which was not a 
more general one to mankind, than it 
was particular to me : but if I can suc- 
ceed in your ladyship's service, as well 
as I had the honour once to do in his 
friendship, I shall think I have lived to 
good purpose here ; and for hereafter, 
shall leave it to Almighty God, Avith a 
submission as abandoned as you can ex- 



ercise in the low common concernments 
of this worthless life, which I can hardly 
imagine was intended us for so great a 
misery as it is here commonly made, or 
to betray so large a part of the world to 
so much greater hereafter as is com- 
monly believed. However, I am obliged 
to your ladyship for your prayers, which 
I am sure are well intended me, and shall 
return you mine, that no ill thoughts of 
my faith may possess your ladyship with 
an ill one of my works too ; which I am 
sure cannot fail of being very meritori- 
ous, if ever I reach the intentions I 
have of expressing myself upon all oc- 
casions, madam, your ladyship's most 
humble and most obedient servant. 
Brussels, Feb. I6th, S. N. 1666. 



BOOK THE SECOND. 



MODERN AND MISCELLANEOUS, 

OF EARLY DATE, CONTINUED. 



SECTION II. 



LETTER I. 

From James Hoivel, Esq. to Sir J. S. at 
Leeds Castle. 



Sir, 



Westmin. 25th July, 1625. 



It was a quaint difference the ancients 
did put betwixt a letter and an oration ; 
that the one should he attired like a 
woman, the other like a man : the latter 
of the two is allowed large side robes, 
as long periods, parentheses, similes, ex- 
amples, and other parts of rhetorical flou- 
rishes : but a letter or epistle should be 
short-coated and closely couched : a hun- 
gerlin becomes a letter more handsomely 
than a gown ; indeed we should write as 
we speak ; and that's a true familiar let- 
ter which expresseth one's mind, as if he 
were discoursing with the party to whom 
he writes, in succinct and short terms. 
The tongue and the pen are both of 
them interpreters of the mind ; but I 
hold the pen to be the more faithful of 
the two ; the tongue in udo posita, being 
seated in a moist slippery place, may fail 
and falter in her sudden extemporal ex- 
pressions ; but the pen, having a greater 
advantage of premeditation, is not so 
subject to error, and leaves things behind 
it upon firm and authentic record. Now 
letters, though they be capable of any 
subject, yet commonly they are either 



narratory, objurgatory, consolatory, mo- 
nitory, or congratulatory. The first con- 
sists of relations, the second of reprehen- 
sions, the third of comfort, the two last 
of counsel and joy : there are some who in 
lieu of letters write homilies ; they preach 
when they should epistolize : there are 
others that turn them to tedious tractates : 
this is to make letters degenerate from 
their true nature. Some modern authors 
there are who have exposed their letters 
to the world, but most of them, I mean 
among your Latin epistolizers, go freight- 
ed with mere Bartholomew ware, with 
trite and trivial phrases only, listed with 
pedantic shreds of school-boy verses. 
Others there are among our next trans- 
marine neighbours eastward, who write 
in their own language, but their style is 
so soft and easy, that their letters may be 
said to be like bodies of loose flesh with- 
out sinews, they have neither joints of 
art nor arteries in them ; they have a 
kind of simpering and lank hectic ex- 
pressions made up of a bombast of words, 
and finical affected compliments only : I 
cannot well away with such sleazy stuff, 
with such cobweb compositions, where 
there is no strength of matter, nothing 
for the reader to carry away wiih him 
that may enlarge the notions of his soul. 
One shall hardly find an apophthegm, ex- 
ample, simile, or any thing of philosophy, 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



]19 



history, or solid knowledge, or as much 
as one new created phrase in a hundred 
of them : and to draw any observations 
out of them, were as if one went about 
to distil cream out of froth ; insomuch 
that it may be said of them, what was 
said of the Echo, " That she is a mere 
sound and nothing else." 

I return you your Balzac by this bearer ; 
and when I found those letters, wherein 
he is so familiar with his king, so flat ; 
and those to Richlieu so puffed with 
profane hyperboles, and larded up and 
down with such gross flatteries, with 
others besides, which he sends as urinals 
up and down the world to look into his 
water for discovery of the crazy condi- 
tion of his body ; 1 forbore him further. 
So I am your affectionate servitor. 



LETTER n. 

From the same to his Father, upon his 
first going bei/ond sea. 

Broad-sh-eet, London, 1st March, 1G18. 
Sir, 
I SHOULD be much wanting to myself, 
and to that obligation of duty the law 
of God and his handmaid Nature hath 
imposed on me, if I should not acquaint 
you with the course and quality of my 
affairs and fortunes, especially at this 
time, that I am upon point of crossing 
the seas to eat my bread abroad. Nor 
is it the common relation of a son that 
only induced me hereunto, but that most 
indvilgent and costly care you have been 
pleased (in so extraordinary a manner) 
to have had of my breeding (though but 
one child of fifteen) by placing me in a 
choice methodical school (so far distant 
from your dwelling) under a learned 
(though lashing) master ; and by trans- 
planting me thence to Oxford, to be gra- 
duated ; and so holding me still up by 
the chin until I could swim without blad- 
ders. This patrimony of liberal educa- 
tion you have been pleased to endow me 
withal, I now carry along with me 
abroad, as a sure inseparable treasure ; 
nor do I feel it any burthen or incum- 
brance unto me at all ; and what danger 
soever my person, or other things I 
have about me, do incur, yet I do not 
fear the losing of this, either by ship- 
wreck, or pirates at sea, nor by robbers, 
or fire, or any other casualty on shore ; 



and at my return to England, I hope, at 
leastwise I shall do my endeavour, that 
you may find this patrimony improved 
somewhat to your couifort. 

In this my peregrination, if I happen, 
by some accident, to be disappointed of 
that allowance 1 am to subsist by, I must 
make my address to you, for 1 have no 
other rendezvous to flee unto ; but it shall 
not be, unless in case of great indi- 
gence. 

The latter end of this week I am to go 
a ship-board, and first for the Low-Coun- 
tries. I humbly pray your blessing may 
accompany me in these my travels by 
la,nd and sea, with a continuance of your 
prayers, which Avill be so many good 
gales to blow me safe to port ; for I have 
l3een taught, that the parent's benedic- 
tions contribute very much, and have a 
kind of prophetic virtue to make the 
child prosperous. In this opinion I shall 
ever rest your dutiful son. 

LETTER III. 

Fro7n the same to Dr. Francis Mansell, 
since Principal of Jesus College in Ox- 
ford, 



Sir, 



London, 26th March, 1618. 



Being to take leave of England and to 
launch into the world abroad, to breathe 
foreign air awhile, I thought it very 
handsome, and an act well becoming 
me, to take my leave also of you, and of 
my dearly honoured Mother, Oxford ; 
otherwise both of you might have just 
grounds to exhibit a biU of complaint, 
or rather a protest against me, and cry 
me up ; you for a forgetful friend ; she 
for an ungrateful son, if not some spu- 
rious issue. To prevent this, I salute 
you both together : you with the best of 
my most candid affections ; her with my 
most dutiful observance, and thankful- 
ness for the milk she pleased to give me 
in that exuberance, had I taken it in that 
measure she offered it me AvhUe I slept 
in her lap : yet that little I have sucked, 
I carry with me now abroad, and hope 
that this course of life will help to con- 
nect it to a greater advantage, having 
opportunity, by the nature of my employ- 
ment, to study men as well as books. 
Tlie small time I supervised the glass- 
house, I got among those Venetians 
some smatterings of the Italian tongue^ 



120 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book. H. 



which besides the little I have, you 
know, of school-language, is all the pre- 
paratives I have made for travel. I am 
to go this week down to Gravesend, 
and so embark for Holland. I have got 
a warrant from the Lords of the Council 
to travel for three years any where, 
Rome and St. Omers excepted. I pray 
let me retain some room, though never 
so little, in your thoughts, during the 
time of this our separation ; and let our 
souls meet sometimes by intercourse of 
letters ; I promise you that yours shall 
receive the best entertainment I can make 
them, for I love you dearly, dearly well, 
and value your friendship at a very high 
rate. So with apprecation of as much 
happiness to you at home, as 1 shall de- 
sire to accompany me abroad, I rest ever 
your friend to serve you. 

LETTER IV. 

"From James Howel, Esq. to Dan. Cald- 
well, Esq. from Amsterdam. 

Amsterdam, lOth April, 1619, 
My dear Dan, 
I HAVE made your friendship so neces- 
sary unto me for the contentment of my 
life, that happiness itself would be but 
a kind of infelicity without it ; it is as 
needful to me as fire and water, as the 
very air I take in and breathe out : it is 
to me not only necessitudo, but necessitas : 
therefore I pray let me enjoy it in that 
fair proportion, that I desire to return 
unto you, by way of correspondence and 
retaliation. Our first league of love, you 
know, was contracted among the Muses 
in Oxford ; for no sooner was I matricu- 
lated to her, but I was adopted to you ; 
I became her son, and your friend, at 
one time : you know I followed you then 
to London, where our love received con- 
firmation in the Temple, and elsewhere. 
We are now far asunder, for no less than 
a sea severs us, and that no narrow one, 
but the German Ocean ; distancs some- 
times endears friendship, and absence 
sweeteneth it ; it much enhances the 
value of it, and makes it more pre- 
cious. Let this be verified in us ; let 
that love which formerly used to be nou- 
rished by personal communication and 
the lips, be now fed by letters ; let the 
pen supply the office of the tongue : let- 
ters have a strong operation, they have 
a kind of art-like embraces to mingle 



souls, and make them meet, though mil- 
lions of paces asunder ; by them we may 
converse, and know how it fares with 
each other as it were by intercourse of 
spirits. Therefore among your civil spe- 
culations, I pray let your thoughts some- 
times reflect on me (your absent self), 
and wrap those thoughts in paper, and so 
send them me over ; I promise you they 
shall be very welcome, I shall embrace 
and hug them with my best affections. 

Commend me to Tom Browyer, and 
enjoin him the like : I pray be no nig- 
gard in distributing my love plentifully 
among our friends at the inns of court ; 
let Jack Toldervy have my kind com- 
mends, with this caveat, that the pot 
which goes often to the water, comes 
home cracked at last : therefore I hope 
he will be careful how he makes the 
Fleece in Cornhill his thoroughfare too 
often. So may my dear Daniel live 
happy and love his, &c. 

LETTER V. 

From the same to Mr. Richard Altham, 
at his chamber in Gray's Inn. 

Hague, 30th May, 1619. 

Dear sir. 
Though you be now a good way out of 
my reach, yet you are not out of my re- 
membrance ; you are still within the 
horizon of my love. Now the horizon of 
love is large and spacious, it is as bound- 
less as that of the imagination ; and 
where the imagination rangeth, the me- 
mory is still busy to usher in, and present 
the desired object it fixes upon ; it is love 
that sets them both on work, and may 
be said to be the highest sphere whence 
they receive their motion. Thus you ap- 
pear to me often in these foreign travels ; 
and that you may believe me the better, 
I send you these lines as my ambassadors 
(and ambassadors must not lie) to inform 
you accordingly, and to salute you. 

I desire to know how you like Plow- 
den ; I heard it often said, that there is 
no study requires patience and constancy 
more than the common law ; for it is a 
good while before one comes to any 
known perfection in it, and consequently 
to any gainful practice. This (I think) 
made Jack Chaundler throw away his 
Littleton, like him that, when he could 
not catch the hare, said, A pox upon 
her, she is but dry tough meat, let her 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



lil 



go : it is not so with you, for I know you 
are of that disposition, that when you 
mind a thing-, nothing- can frighten you 
in making constant pursuit after it till 
you have obtained it ; for if the mathe- 
matics, with their crabbedness and intri- 
cacy, could not deter you, but that you 
waded through the very midst of them, 
and arrived to so excellent a perfection ; 
I believe it is not in the power of Flow- 
den to dastardize or cow your spirits, un- 
til you have overcome him, at leastwise 
have so much of him as will serve your 
turn. I know you were always a quick 
and pressing disputant in logic and philo- 
sophy ; which makes me think your ge- 
nius is fit for law (as the Baron your ex- 
cellent father was), for a good logician 
makes always a good lawyer : and hereby 
one may give a strong conjecture of the 
aptness or inaptitude of one's capacity to 
that study and profession ; and you know 
as well as I, that logicians, who went un- 
der the name of Sophisters, were the 
first lawyers that ever were. 

I shall be upon uncertain removes 
hence, until I come to Rouen in France, 
and there I mean to cast anchor a good 
while ; I shall expect your letters there 
with impatience. I pray present my ser- 
vice to sir James Altham, and to my 
good lady your mother, with the rest to 
whom it is due in Bishopsgate-street, 
and elsewhere : so I am yours in the 
best degree of friendship. 



LETTER VL 

From the same to Capt. Francis Bacon, 
from Paris. 



Sir, 



Paris, 30th March, 1620. 



I RECEIVED two of yours in Rouen, 
with the bills of exchange there in- 
closed ; and according to your direc- 
tions I sent you those things which you 
wrote for. 

I am now newly come to Paris, this 
huge magazine of men, the epitome of 
this large populous kingdom, and ren- 
dezvous of all foreigners. The struc- 
tures here are indifferently fair, though 
the streets generally foul of all four sea- 
sons of the year ; which 1 impute first 
to the position of the city, being built 
upon an isle (the isle of France, made so 
by the branching and serpentine course 



of the river of Seine), and having some 
of her suburbs seated high, the filth runs 
down the channel, and settles in many 
places within the body of the city, which 
lies upon a flat ; as also for a world of 
coaches, carts, and horses of all sorts, that 
go to and fro perpetually, so that some- 
times one shall meet with a stop half a 
mile long of those coaches, carts, and 
horses, that can move neither forward 
nor backward, by reason of some sudden 
encounter of others coming a cross-way : 
so that often-times it will be an hour or 
two before they can disentangle. In such 
a stop the great Henry was so fatally 
slain by Ravillac. Hence comes it to 
pass, that this town (for Paris is a town, 
a city, and an university) is always dirty, 
and it is such a dirt, that by perpetual 
motion is beaten into such black, unctuous 
oil, that where it sticks no ait can wash 
it off of some colours ; insomuch , that it 
may be no improper comparison to say, 
that an ill name is like the crot (the dirt) 
of Paris, which is indelible ; besides the 
stain this dirt leaves, it gives also so 
strong a scent, that may be smelt many 
miles off, if the wind be in one's face as 
he comes from the fresh air of the coun- 
try : this maybe one cause why the plague 
is always in some corner or other of this 
vast city, which may be Called, as once Scy- 
thia was, vagina populorum, or (as man- 
kind was called by a great philosopher) 
a great mole-hill of ants ; yet I believe 
this city is not so populous as she seems 
to be, for her form being round (as the 
whole kingdom is) the passengers wheel 
about, and meet oftener than they use to 
do in the long continued streets of Lon- 
don, which makes London appear less po- 
pulous than she is indeed ; so that Lon- 
don for length (though not for latitude), 
including Westminster, exceeds Paris, 
and hath in Michaelmas term more souls 
moving within her in all places. It is 
under one hundred years that Paris is be- 
come so sumptuous and strong in build- 
ings ; for her houses were mean, until a 
mine of white stone was discovered hard 
by, which runs in a continued vein of 
earth, and is digged out with ease, be- 
ing soft, and is betAveen a white clay and 
chalk at first : but being pulleyed up 
with the open air, it receives a crusty 
kind of hardness, and so becomes per- 
fect free-stone ; and before it is sent up 
from the pit, they can reduce it to any 
form : of this stone tlie Lourre, the 



192 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book II. 



king's palace, is built, which is a vast 
fabric, for the gallery wants not much 
of an Italian mile in length, and will 
easily lodge 3000 men ; which, some 
told me, was the end for which the 
last king made it so big ; that, lying at 
the fag-end of this great mutinous city, 
if she perchance should rise, the king 
might pour out of the Louvre so many 
thousand men unawares into the heart of 
her. 

I am lodged here hard by the Bastile, 
because it is furthest off from those 
places where the English resort : for I 
would go on to get a little language as 
soon as I could. In my next, I shaU 
impart unto you what state-news France 
affords ; in the interim, and always, I 
am your humble servant. 

LETTER VIL 

From J allies Howel, Esq. to Richard Al- 
tham, Esq. from Paris. 

Paris, 1st May, 1620. 

Dear sir, 
Love is the marrow of friendship, and 
letters are the elixir of love ; they are 
the best fuel of affection, and cast a 
sweeter odour than any frankincense can 
do : such an odour, such an aromatic per- 
fume, your late letter brought with it, pro- 
ceeding from the fragrancy of those dain- 
ty flowers of eloquence, which I found 
blossoming as it were in every line ; I 
mean those sweet expressions of love and 
wit, which in every period were inter- 
mingled with so much art, that they 
seemed to contend for mastery which 
was the strongest. I must confess, that 
you put me to hard shifts to correspond 
with you in such exquisite strains and 
raptures of love, which were so lively, 
that I must needs judge them to proceed 
from the motions, from the diastole and 
systole of a heart truly affected ; certainly 
your heart did dictate every syllable you 
writ, and guided your hand aU along. 
Sir, give me leave to tell you, that not a 
dram, nor a dose, nor a scruple of this 
precious love of yours is lost, but is 
safely treasured up in my breast, and 
answered in like proportion to the full : 
mine to you is as cordial, it is passionate 
and perfect as love can be. 

I thank you for the desire you have to 
know how it fares with me abroad ; I 
thank God I am perfectly well, and well 
contented with this wandering course of 



life a while ; I never enjoyed my health 
better, but I was like to endanger it two 
nights ago ; for being in some jovial 
company abroad, and coming late to our 
lodging, we were suddenly surprised by 
a crew of Jilous, or night rogues, who 
drew upon us ; and as we had exchanged 
some blows, it pleased God the Chevalier 
du Guet, an officer, who goes up and 
down the streets all night on horseback 
to prevent disorders, passed by, and so 
rescued us ; but Jack White was hurt, 
and I had two thrusts in my cloak. There 
is never a night passes but some robbing 
or murder is committed in this town ; 
so that it is not safe to go late anywhere, 
specially about the Pont-Neuf (the New 
Bridge), though Henry the Great himself 
lies centinel there in arms, upon a huge 
Florentine horse, and sits bare to every 
one that passeth, an improper posture 
methinks to a king on horseback. Not 
long since, one of the secretaries of 
state (whereof there are always four), 
having been invited to the suburbs of 
St. Germains to supper, left order with 
one of his lacqueys to bring him his 
horse about nine ; it so happened that a 
mischance befel the horse, which lamed 
him as he went a-watering to the Seine, 
insomuch that the secretary was put to 
beat the hoof himself, and foot it home ; 
but as he v/as passing the Pont-Neuf, 
with his lacquey carrying a torch before 
him, he might overhear a noise of 
clashing of swords, and fighting, and 
looking under the torch, and perceiving 
they were but two, he bade his lacquey 
to go on ; they had not made many 
paces, but two armed men, with their 
pistols cocked and swords drawn, made 
puffmg towards them, whereof one had 
a paper in his hand, which he said he 
had casually took up in the streets, and 
the difference between them was about 
that paper ; therefore they desired the 
secretary to read it, with a great deal of 
compliment ; the secretary took out his 
spectacles and fell a-reading of the said 
paper, whereof the substance was. That 
it should be known to all men, thajfc 
whosoever did pass over that bridge af- 
ter nine o'clock at night in winter, and 
ten in summer, was to leave his cloak 
behind him, and in case of no cloak, his 
hat. The secretary starting at this, one 
of the comrades told him, that he 
thought that paper concerned him ; so 
they unmantled him of a new plush 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



123 



cloak, and my secretary was content to 
go home quietly, and en curpo. This 
makes me think often of the excellent 
nocturnal government of our city of 
London, where one may pass and repass 
secui-ely all hours of the night, if he gives 
good words to the watch. There is a 
gentle calm of peace now throughout all 
France, and the king intends to make a 
progress to all the frontier towns of the 
kingdom, to see how they are fortified. 
The favourite Luines strengtheneth him- 
self more and more in his minionship ; 
but he is much murmured at, in regard 
the access of suitors to him is so difficult : 
which made a lord of this land say, 
That three of the hardest things in the 
world were, to quadrate a circle, to find 
out the philosopher's stone, and to speak 
with the duke of Luines. 

I have sent you by Vacandary, the 
post, the French beaver and tweeses you 
writ for : beaver hats are grown dearer 
of late, because the Jesuits have got the 
monopoly of them from the king. 

Farewell, dear child of virtue and mi- 
nion of the Muses, and continue to love 
yours, &c. 



LETTER VIH. 

From the same to Sir James Crofts, from 
Paris. 

Paris, 12th May, 1620. 

I AM to set forward this week for Spain, 
and if I can find no commodity of em- 
barkation at St. Maloes, I must be 
forced to journey it all the way by land, 
and clamber up the huge Pyrenee hills ; 
but I could not bid Paris adieu, till I 
had conveyed my true and constant re- 
spects to you by this letter. I was yester- 
day to wait upon Sir Herbert Crofts at 
St. Germains, where I met with a French 
gentleman, who, amongst other curiosi- 
ties which he pleased to shew me up 
and down Paris, brought me to that 
place where the late king was slain, and 
to that where the marquis of Ancre was 
shot ; and so made me a punctual rela- 
tion of all the circumstances of those 
two acts, which in regard they were 
rare, and I believe two of the nota- 
blest accidents that ever happened in 
France, I thought it worth the labour to 
make you partaker of some part of his 
discourse. 



France, as all Christendom besides 
(for there was then a truce betwixt Spain 
and the Hollanders), was in a profound 
peace, and had continued so twenty years 
together, when Henry IV. fell upon 
some great martial design, the bottom 
whereof is not known to this day ; and 
being rich (for he had heaped up in the 
Bastile a mount of gold that was as high 
as a lance), he levied a huge army of 
40,000 men, whence came the song, 
" The King of France with forty thousand 
men ; " and upon a sudden he put his 
army in perfect equipage, and some say 
he invited our Prince Henry to come to 
him to be a sharer in his exploits. But 
going one afternoon to the Bastile, to see 
his treasure and ammunition, his coach 
stopped suddenly, by reason of some col- 
liers and other carts that were in that 
narrow street ; whereupon one Ravillac, 
a lay Jesuit (who had a whole tM^elve- 
month Avatched an opportunity to do the 
act), put his foot boldly upon one of the 
wheels of the coach, and with a long 
knife stretched himself over their should- 
ers who were in the boot of the coach, and 
reached the king at the end, and stabbed 
him right in the left side to the heart, 
and pulling out the fatal steel he doubled 
his thrust, the king with a ruthful voice 
cried out, Je suis blesse (I am hurt), and 
suddenly the blood gushed out at his 
mouth. The regicide villain was appre- 
hended, and command given that no 
violence should be offered him, that he 
might be reserved for the law, and some 
exquisite torture. The queen grew half 
distracted hereupon, who had been 
crowned queen of France the day before 
in great triumph ; but in a few days after 
she had something to countervail, if not 
to overmatch, her sorrow ; for according 
to St. Lewis's law, she was made queen- 
regent of France, during the king's 
minority, who was then but about ten 
years of age. Many consultations were 
held how to punish Ravillac, and there 
were some Italian physicians that under- 
took to prescribe a torment, that should 
last a constant torment for three days ; 
but he escaped only with this, his body 
was pulled between four horses, that one 
might hear his bones crack, and after the 
dislocation they were set again ; and so he 
was carried in a cart, standing half naked, 
with a torch in that hand which had 
committed the murder, and in the place 
where the act was done it was cut off, 



124 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book H. 



and a gauntlet of hot oil was clapped 
upon the stump to staunch the blood ; 
whereat he gave a doleful shriek : then 
was he brought upon a stage, where a 
new pair of boots was provided for him, 
half filled with boiling oil ; then his body 
was pincered, and hot oil poured into the 
holes. In all the extremity of this tor- 
ture he scarce shewed any sense of pain ; 
but when the gauntlet was clapped upon 
his arm, to staunch the flux at that time 
of reeking blood, he gave a shriek only. 
He bore up against all these torments 
about three hours before he died. All 
the confession that could be drawn from 
him was. That he thought to have done 
God good service, to take away that 
king which would have embroiled all 
Christendom in an 'endless war. 

A fatal thing it was that France should 
have three of her kings come to such 
violent deaths in so short a revolution of 
time. Henry IL, running at tilt with 
M. Montgomery, was killed by a splinter 
of a lance that pierced his eye : Henry 
in. not long after was killed by a young 
friar, who, in lieu of a letter which he 
pretended to have for him, jiuUed out 
of his long sleeve a knife, and thrust 
him into the bottom of tlie belly, as he 
was coming from his close-stool, and so 
dispatched him ; but that regicide was 
hacked to pieces in the place by the 
nobles. The same destiny attended the 
king by Ravillac, which is become now 
a common name of reproach and infamy 
in France. 

Never was a king so much lamented as 
this ; there are a world not only of his 
pictures, but statues up and down France, 
and there is scarce a market town but 
hath him erected in the market place, or 
over some gate, not upon sign-posts, as 
our Henry VIII. ; and by a public act of 
parliament, which was confirmed in the 
consistory at Rome, he was entitled 
Henry the Great, and so placed in the 
temple of Immortality. A notable prince 
he was, and of an admirable temper 
of body and mind ; he had a graceful 
facetious way to gain both love and 
awe : he would be never transported 
beyond himself with choler, but he 
would pass by any thing with some re- 
partee, some witty strain, wherein he 
was excellent. I Avill instance in a few 
which were told me from a good hand. 
One day he was charged by the duke 
of Bouillon to have changed his religion, 



he answered, " No, cousin, I have 
changed no religion, but an opinion :" 
and the cardinal of Perron being by, 
he enjoined him to write a treatise 
for his vindication : the cardinal was 
long about the work, and when the 
king asked from time to time where his 
book was, he would still answer him. 
That he expected some manuscripts from 
Rome before he could finish it. It hap- 
pened, that one day the king took the 
cardinal along with him to look on his 
workmen and new buildings at the 
Louvre ; and passing by one corner 
which had been a long time begun, but 
left unfinished, the king asked the chief 
mason why that corner was not all this 
while perfected? " Sir, it is because 
I want some choice stones." — " No, 
no," said the king, looking upon the 
cardinal, "it is because thou wantest 
manuscripts from Rome." Another time 
the old duke of Main, who was used to 
play the droll with him, coming softly 
into his bed chamber, and thrusting in 
his bald head and long neck, in a posture 
to make the king merry, it happened 
the king was coming from doing his 
ease, and spying him, he took the round 
cover of the close stool, and clapped 
it on his bald sconce, saying, "Ah, 
cousin, you thought once to have taken 
the crown off my head, and wear it on 
your own ; but this of my tail shall now 
serve your turn." Another time, when 
at the siege of Amiens, he having 
sent for the count of Soissons (who 
had 100,000 franks a year pension from 
the crown) to assist him in those wars, 
and that the count excused himself by 
reason of his years and poverty, having 
exhausted himself in the former wars, 
and all that he could do now was to 
pray for his majesty, which he would 
do heartily : this answer being brought 
to the king, he replied, " Will my 
cousin, the count of Soissons, do no- 
thing else but pray for me? tell him, 
that prayer without fasting is not avail- 
able ; therefore I will make my cousin 
fast also from his pension of 100,000 
per annum.'''' 

He was once troubled with a fit of the 
gout ; and the Spanish ambassador com- 
ing then to visit him, and saying he was 
sorry to see his majesty so lame, he 
answered, "As lame as I am, if there 
were occasion, your master the king of 
Spain should no sooner have his foot in 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



125 



the stirrup but he should find me on 
horseback." 

By these few you may guess at the 
genius of this sprightly prince : I could 
make many more instances, but then I 
should exceed the bounds of a letter. 
When I am in Spain, you shall hear fur- 
ther from me : and if you can think on 
any thing wherein 1 may serve you, be- 
lieve it, sir, that any employment from 
you shall be welcome to your much ob- 
liged servant. 



LETTER IX. 

From James Hoiuel, Esq. to Mr. Thomas 
Porter, after Captain Porter, from 
Barcelona. 

Barcelona, 10th Nov. 1620. 

My dear Tom, 
I HAD no sooner set foot upon this soil, 
and breathed Spanish air, but my 
thoughts presently reflected upon you ; 
of all my friends in England, you were 
the first I met here ; you were the prime 
object of my speculation ; methought 
the very winds in gentle whispers did 
breathe out your name and blow it on 
me ; you seemed to reverberate upon me 
with the beams of the sun, which you 
know hath such a powerful influence, 
and indeed too great a stroke in this 
country. And all this you must ascribe to 
the operations of love, which hath such 
a strong virtual force, that when it 
fasteneth upon a pleasing subject, it sets 
the imagination in a strange fit of work- 
ing, it employs all the faculties of the 
soul, so that not one cell in the brain 
is idle ; it busieth the wliole inward 
man, it affects the heart, amuseth the 
imder standing ; it quickeneth the fancy, 
and leads the will as it were by a silken 
thread to co-operate them all ; I have 
felt these motions often in me, especially 
at this time that my memory is fixed 
upon you. But the reason that I fell 
first upon you in Spain was, that I re- 
member I had heard you often dis- 
coursing how you have received part of 
your education here, which brought you 
to speak the language so exactly well. 
I think often of the relations I have 
heard you make of this country, and 
the good instruction you pleased to give 
me. 

I am now in Barcelona, but the next 



week I intend to go on through your 
town of Valentia to Alicant, and thence 
you shall be sure to hear from me farther, 
for I make account to winter there. The 
duke of Ossuna passed by here lately, 
and having got leave of grace to release 
some slaves, he went aboard the Cape 
galleys, and passing through the churma 
of slaves, he asked divers of them what 
their offences were ; every one excused 
himself ; one saying; That he was put in 
out of malice, another by bribery of the 
judge, but all of them unjustly ; amongst 
the rest there was one little sturdy black 
man, and the duke asking him what he 
was in for, " Sir," said he, " I cannot 
deny but I am justly put in here, for 
I wanted money, and so took a purse 
hard by Tarragone, to keep me from 
starving." The duke, with a little staff 
he had in his hand, gave him two or 
three blows upon the shoulders, saying, 
" You rogue, what do you do amongst 
so many honest innocent men ? get you 
gone out of their company ; " so he was 
freed, and the rest remained still in statu 
quo prills, to tug at the oar. 

I pray commend me to Signior Ca- 
millo, and Mazalao, with the rest of the 
Venetians with you ; and when you go 
aboard the ship behind the Exchange, 
think upon yours. 

LETTER X. 

Fro7n the same to Robert Browji, Esq. 
at the Middle Temple, from Venice. 

Venice, 12th August, 1621. 
Robin, 
I HAVE now enough of the maiden city, 
and this week am to go further into 
Italy ; for though I have been a good 
while in Venice, yet I cannot say I have 
hitherto been upon the continent of 
Italy ; for this city is nought else but 
a knot of islands in the Adi'iatic sea, 
joined in one body by bridges, and a 
good way distant from the firm land. I 
have lighted upon very choice company, 
your cousin Brown and Master Webb ; 
and we all take the road of Lombardy, 
but we made an order among ourselves, 
that om' discourse be always in the lan- 
guage of the country, under penalty of 
a forfeiture, which is to be indispensably 
paid. Randal Syms made us a curious 
feast lately, where in a cup of the richest 
Greek Ave had your health, and I could 



126 



ELEGAJSTT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



not tell whether the wine or the remem- 
brance of you was sweeter ; for it was 
naturally a kind of aromatic wine, which 
left a fragrant perfuming kind of farewell 
behind it. I have sent you a runlet of 
it in the ship Lion, and if it come safe 
and unpricked, I pray bestow some bot- 
tles upon the lady (you know) with my 
humble service. When you write next 
to Mr. Symns, I pray acknowledge the 
good hospitality and extraordinary civi- 
lities I received from him. Before I 
conclude, I will acquaint you with a 
common saying that is used of this dainty 
city of Venice : — 

Venetia, Venetia, chi non te vede non te pregia. 
Ma chi Vha troppe veduto te dispreggia. 

Englished and rhymed thus (though I 
know you need no translation, you un- 
derstand so much of the Italian) : — 

Venice, Venice, none thee unseen can prize j 
Who hath seen too much will thee despise. 

I will conclude with that famous hex- 
astic which Sannazaro made of this great 
city, which pleaseth me much better : — 

Viderat Hadriacis Venetam Neptunus in undis 
Stare urbem, et toti ponere jura mari; 

Nunc mihi Tarpeias quantum vis, Jupiter, arces 
Objice et ilia tui mcenia Martis ait. 

Sic pelago Tibrim preefers urbem aspice utramque, 
Illam homines dices, hanc posuisse Deus. 

When Neptune saw in Adrian surges stand 
Venice, and give the sea laws of command: 
Now Jove, said he, object thy Capitol, 
And Mars' proud walls: this were for to extol 
Tiber beyond the main; both towns behold; 
Rome, men thou'lt say, Venice the gods did 
mould. 

Sannazaro had given him by St. Mark 
a hundred zecchins for every one of these 
verses, which amounts to about 300/. It 
would be long before the city of London 
would do the like ; witness that cold re- 
ward, or rather those cold drops of water 
which were cast upon my countryman 
Sir Hugh Middleton, for bringing Ware 
river through her streets, the most ser- 
viceable and wholesome benefit that ever 
she received. 

The parcel of Italian books that you 
write for, you shall receive from Mr. 
Leat, if it please God to send the ship to 
safe port ; and I take it as a favour, that 
you employ me in any thing that may 
conduce to your contentment, because I 
am your serious servitor. 



LETTER XI. 

Frojn James Howel, Esq. to Christopher 
Jones, Esq. at Gray's Inn, from Naples. 

8th Oct. 1821. 
Honoured father, 
I MUST still style you so, since I was 
adopted your son by so good a mother 
as Oxford ; my mind lately prompted me 
that I should commit a great solecism, if 
among the rest of my friends in England 
I should leave you unsaluted, whom I 
love so dearly well, especially having such 
a fair and pregnant opportunity as the 
hand of this worthy gentleman, your 
cousin Morgan, who is now posting 
hence for England. He will tell you 
how it fares with me ; how any time 
these thirty odd months I have been 
tossed from shore to shore, and passed 
under various meridians, and am now 
in this voluptuous and luxuriant city of 
Naples : and though these frequent re- 
moves and tumblings under climes of 
different temper were not without some 
danger, yet the delight which accom- 
panied them was far greater ; and it 
is impossible for any man to conceive 
the true pleasure of peregrination, but 
he who actually enjoys and puts it in 
practice. Believe it, sir, that one year 
well employed abroad by one of mature 
judgment (which you know I want very 
much) advantageth more in point of use- 
ful and solid knowledge than three in 
any of our universities. You know run- 
ning waters are the purest, so they that 
traverse the world up and down, have 
the clearest understanding ; being faith- 
ful eye-witnesses of those things which 
others receive but in trust, whereunto 
they must yield an intuitive consent, 
and a kind of implicit faith. When I 
passed through some parts of Lombardy, 
among other things I observed the phy- 
siognomies and complexions of the peo- 
ple, men and women ; and I thought I 
was in Wales, for divers of them have a 
cast of countenance, and a nearer re- 
semblance with our nation than any I 
ever saw yet : and the reason is obvious ; 
for the Romans having been near upon 
three hundred years among us, where 
they had four legions (before the English 
nation or language had any being), by so 
long a coalition and tract of time, the 
two nations must needs copulate and 
mix ; insomuch that I believe there is 
yet remaining in Wales many of the 



Sect. 11. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



127 



Roman race, and divers in Italy of the 
British. Among" other resemblances, 
one was in their prosody, and vein of 
versifying- or rhyming, which is like our 
bards, who hold agnominations, and en- 
forcing of consonant words or syllables 
one upon the other, to be the greatest 
elegance. As for example, in Welsh, 
Tewgris, todyrris tyr derryn, gwillt, &c. 
so have I seen divers old rhymes in Ita- 
lian running so ; Donne, O danno, die 
felo affrontn affronta : in selva salvo a 
me: Piu caro cuore, &c. 

Being lately in Rome, among other 
pasquils I met with one that was against 
the Scots : though it had some gall in it, 
yet it had a great deal of wit, especially 
towards the conclusion ; so that I think 
if King James saw it, he would but laugh 
at it. 

As I remember some years since there 
was a very abusive satire in verse brought 
to our king ; and as the passages were 
a-reading before him, he often said, that 
if there were no more men in England, 
the rogue should hang for it : at last be- 
ing come to the conclusion, which was 
(after all his railing) 

Now God preserve the king, the queen, the 

peers, 
And grant the author long may wear his ears; 

this pleased his majesty so well, that he 
broke into a laughter, and said, " By my 
soul, so thou shalt for me : thou art a 
bitter, but thou art a witty knave." 

When you write to Monmouthshire, 
I pray send my respects to my tutor, 
master Moor Fortune, and my service to 
sir Charles Williams : and according to 
that relation which was betwixt us at 
Oxford, I rest your constant son to serve 
you. 

LETTER XII. 

From the same to Sir Eubule Theltvall, 
Knis^ht, and Principal of Jesus College 
in Oxford. 



Sir, 



London, idibus Mar. 1621. 



I SEND you most due and humble 
thanks, that notwithstanding I have 
played the truant, and been absent so 
long from Oxford, you have been pleased 
lately to make a choice of me to be fellow 
of your new foundation in Jesus' Col- 
lege, whereof I was once a member. As 
the quality of my fortunes, and course of 



life run now, I cannot make present use 
of this your great favour, or promotion 
rather : yet I do highly value it, and 
humbly accept of it, and intend by your 
permission to reserve and lay it by, as a 
good warm garment against rough wea- 
ther, if any fall on me. With this my 
expression of thankfulness, I do congra- 
tulate the great honour you have pur- 
chased, both by your own beneficence, 
and by your painful endeavour besides to 
perfect that national college, which here- 
after is like to be a monument of your 
fame, as well as a seminary of learning, 
and will perpetuate your memory to all 
posterity. 

God Almighty prosper and perfect 
your undertakings, and provide for you 
in Heaven those rewards which such 
public works of piety use to be crowned 
withal ; it is the appreciation of your 
truly devoted servitor. 



LETTER XIII. 

Fro7n the same to Dan. Caldwall, Esq. 

from the Lord Savage's house in Long 

Melford. 

20th of May, 16] P. 

My dear Dan, 
Though, considering my former condi- 
tion of life, I may now be called a coun- 
tryman, yet you cannot call me a rustic 
(as you would imply in your letter) as 
long as I live in so civil and noble a fa- 
mily, as long as I lodge in so virtuous 
and regular a house as any I believe in 
the land, both for (Economical govern- 
ment and the choice company ; for I 
never saw yet such a dainty race of chil- 
dren in all my life together ; I never saw 
yet such an orderly and punctual at- 
tendance of servants, nor a great house 
so neatly kept. Here one shall see no 
dog, nor a cat, nor cage, to cause any 
nastiness within the body of the house. 
The kitchen and gutters, and other 
offices of noise and drudgery, are at the 
fag end ; there is a back gate for the 
beggars and the meaner sort of swains 
to come in at ; the stables butt upon the 
park, which for a cheerful rising ground, 
for groves and browsings for the deer, 
for rivulets of water, may compare witk 
any for its highness in the whole land ; it 
is opposite to the front of the great 
house, whence from the gallery one may 
see much of the game Avhen they are 



12g 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book II 



a-hunting. Now for the gardening and 
costly choice flowers, for ponds, for 
stately large walks, green and gravelly, 
for orchards and choice fruits of all sorts, 
there are few the like in England. Here 
you have your bon christian pear and 
bergamot in perfection : your muscadel 
grapes in such plenty, that there are 
some bottles of wine sent every year to 
the king ; and one Mr. Daniel, a worthy 
gentleman hard by, who hath been long 
abroad, makes good store in his vin- 
tage. Truly this house of Long Melford, 
though it be not so great, yet it is so 
well compacted, and contrived with such 
dainty conveniences every way, that if 
you saw the landscape of it, you would 
be mightily taken with it, and it would 
serve for a choice pattern to build and 
contrive a house by. If you come this 
summer to your manor of Sheriff in 
Essex, you will not be far off hence ; if 
your occasions will permit, it will be 
worth your coming hither, though it be 
only to see him, who would think it a 
short journey to ^b from St. David's 
Head to Dover Cliffs to see and serve you, 
were there occasion. If you would know 
who the same is, it is yours, &c. 

LETTER XIV. 

From James Howel, Esq. to his Brother, 
Mr. Hugh Penry, upon his marriage. 



Sir, 



20th May, 1622. 



You have had a good while the interest 
of a friend in me, but you have me now 
in a straiter tie, for I am your bro- 
ther by your late marriage, which hath 
turned friendship into an alliance ; you 
have in your arms one of my dearest 
sisters, who I hope, nay I know, will 
make a good wife. I heartily congratu- 
late this marriage, and pray that a bless- 
ing may descend upon it from that place 
where all marriages are made, which is 
from Heaven, the fountain of all felicity ; 
to this prayer 1 think it no profaneness 
to add the saying of the lyric poet 
Horace, in whom I know you delight 
much ; and I send it to you as a kind of 
epithalamium, and wish it may be veri- 
fied in you both. 

Fa-lices ter et umplius, 

2uos irrupta tenet copula, nee malts 
Divulsus queritnoniis 

Suprema citius solvet amor die. 



Thus Englished : 

That couple's more than trebly blest, 
WJiich nuptial bonds do so combine. 
That no distaste can them untwine, 

Till the last day send both to rest. 

So, my dear brother, I much rejoice 
for this alliance, and wish you may in- 
crease and multiply to your heart's con- 
tent. Your affectionate brother. 

LETTER XV. 

From the same to Dr. Thomas Prichard, 
at Worcester House. 



Paris, 3d Aucr. 1621. 



Sir, 



Friendship is the great chain of human 
society, and intercourse of letters is one 
of the chiefest links of that chain. 
You know this as well as I ; therefore, 
I pray, let our friendship, let our love, 
that nationality of British love, that vir- 
tuous tie of academic love, be still 
strengthened (as heretofore) and receive 
daily more and more vigour. I am now 
in Paris, and there is weekly oppor- 
tunity to receive and send ; and if you 
please to send, you shall be sure to re- 
ceive, for I make it a kind of religion 
to be punctual in this kind of payment. 
I am heartily glad to hear that you are 
become a domestic member to that most 
noble family of the Worcesters, and I 
hold it to be a very good foundation for 
future preferment ; I wish you may be 
as happy in them as I know they will be 
happy in you. France is now barren qf 
news, only there was a shrewd brush 
lately between the young king and his 
mother, who, having the duke of Eper- 
non and others for her champions, met 
him in open field about Pont de Ce, but 
she went away with the worst ; such was 
the rare dutifulness of the king, that he 
forgave her upon his knees, and pardoned 
all her accomplices ; and noAV there is 
an universal peace in this country, which 
it is thought will not last long, for there 
is a war intended against them of the re- 
formed religion : for this king, though 
he be slow in speech, yet he is active in 
spirit, and loves motion. I am here com- 
rade to a gallant young gentleman, my 
old acquaintance, who is full of excellent 
parts, which he hath acquired by a choice 
breeding the baron his father gave him, 
both in the university and in the inns of 
court ; so that for the time I envy no 
man's happiness. So with my hearty 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OP EARLY DATE. 



129 



commends, and much endeared lore unto 
you, I rest yours. 

LETTER XVI. 

From the same to the Honourable Mr. 

John Savage {now Earl of Rivers), at 

Florence. 

Lond. 24th March, 1622. 
Sir, 
My love is not so short but it can reach 
as far as Florence to find you out, and 
farther too, if occasion required ; nor are 
these affections I have to serve you so 
dull, but they can clamber over the Alps 
and Appenines to wait upon you, as they 
have adventured to do now in this paper. 
I am sorry I was not in London to kiss 
your hands before you set to sea, and 
much more sorry that I had not the hap- 
piness to meet you in Holland or Bra- 
bant, for we went the very same road, 
and lay in Dort and Antwerp, in the 
same lodgings you had lain in a fortnight 
before. I presume you have by this time 
tasted the sweetness of travel, and that 
you have weaned your affections from 
England for a good while : you must now 
think upon home, as (one said) good men 
think upon Heaven, aiming still to go 
thither, but not till they finish their 
course ; and yours I understand will be 
three years : in the mean time you must 
not suffer any melting tenderness of 
thoughts or longing desires to distract 
or interrupt you in that fair road you are 
in to virtue, and to beautify within that 
comely edifice which nature hath built 
without you. I know your reputation is 
precious to you, as it should be to every 
noble mind ; you have exposed it now to 
the hazard, therefore you must be careful 
it receive no taint at your return, by not 
answering that expectation, which your 
prince and noble parents have of you. 
You are now under the chiefest clime of 
wisdom, fair Italy, the darling of nature, 
the nurse of policy, the theatre of virtue ; 
but though Italy give milk to virtue with 
one dug, she often suffers vice to suck at 
the other ; therefore you must take heed 
you mistake not the dug, for there is an 
ill-favoured saying, that Inglese Italio- 
nato c diavolo incarnato; An Englishman 
Italianate is a devil incarnate. I fear no 
such thing of you, I have had such preg- 
nant proofs of your ingenuity, and no- 
ble inclinations to virtue and honour : I 
know you have a mind to both, but I 



must tell you that you will hardly get the 
good will of the latter, unless the first 
speak a good word for you. Wlien you 
go to Rome you may haply see the ruins 
of two temples, one dedicated to Virtue, 
the other to Honour ; and there was no 
way to enter into the last but through the 
first. Noble sir, I wish your good very 
seriously, and if you please to call to me- 
mory, and examine the circumstance of 
thmgs, and my carriage towards you 
since I had the happiness to be known 
first to your honourable family, I know 
you will conclude that I love and honour 
you in no vulgar way. 

My lord, your grandfather,, was com- 
plaining lately that he had not heard 
from you a good while : by the next 
shipping to Leghorn, among other things, 
he intends to send you a whole brawn in 
collars. I pray be pleased to remember 
my affectionate service to Mr. Thomas 
Savage, and my kind respects to Mr. 
Bold. For English news, I know this 
packet comes freighted to you, therefore 
I forbear at this time to send any. Fare- 
well, noble heir of honour, 
always your true servitor, 

LETTER XVII. 

From the same to Dr, Prichard. 



Sir, 



London, 6th Jan. 1625. 



Since I was beholden to you for your 
many favours in Oxford I have not 
heard from you {ne gry quiden) ; I pray 
let the wonted correspondence be now 
revived, and receive new vigour between 
us. 

My lord chancellor Bacon is lately 
dead of a long languishing weakness ; he 
died so poor that he scarce left money to 
bury him, which, though he had a great 
wit, did argue no great wisdom : it being 
one of the essential properties of a wise 
man to provide for the main chance. I 
have read, that it had been the fortunes 
of all poets commonly to die beggars ; 
but for an orator, a lawyer, and philoso- 
pher, as he was, to die so, it is rare. It 
seems the same fate befel him, that at- 
tended Demosthenes, Seneca, and Cicero 
(all great men), of whom the two first 
fell by corruption. The fairest diamond 
may have a flaw in it, but I believe he 
died poor out of a contempt of the pelf 
of fortune, as also out of an excess of 
K 



■■■ 



130 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book iL 



generosity, which appeared, as in divers 
other passages, so once when the king- 
had sent him a stag, he sent up for the 
under -keeper, and having drank the 
king's health to him in a great silver 
gift bowl, he gave it for his fee. 

He wrote a pitiful letter to King James 
not long before his death, and concludes, 
" Help me, dear sovereign, lord and 
master, and pity me so far, that I who 
have been born to a bag, be not now in 
my age forced in effect to bear a wallet ; 
nor that I, who desire to live to study, 
may be driven to study to live." Which 
words, in my opinion, argued a little ab- 
jection of spirit, as his former letter to 
the prince did of profaneness ; wherein 
he hoped, that as the father was his cre- 
ator, the son will be his redeemer. I 
write not this to derogate from the noble 
worth of the lord viscount Verulam, 
who was a rare man ; a man reconditce 
scientice, et ad salutem literarum natus, 
and I think the eloquentest that was 
born in this isle. They say he shall 
be the last Lord Chancellor, as sir Ed- 
ward Coke was the last Lord Chief Jus- 
tice of England ; for ever since they 
have been termed Lord Chief Justices of 
the King's Bench ; so hereafter they 
shall be only Keepers of the Great Seal, 
which for title and office are deposeable ; 
but they say the Lord Chancellor's title 
is indelible. 

I was lately at Gray's Inn with sir 
Eubule, and he desired me to remember 
him to you, as I do also salute Meum Pri- 
chardum ex imis prcecordiis, VaJe KS(pcc\rj 
f/.oi irpO(r(pi\s(rTdr-/). Yours aifectionately. 

LETTER XVIII. 

From James Howel, Esq. to his well- 
beloved Cousin jyjr. T. V. 

London, 5th Feb. 1 625. 
Cousin, 
You have a great work in hand, for you 
write to me that you are upon a treaty 
of marriage ; a great work indeed, and a 
work of such consequence that it may 
make you, or mar you ; it may make the 
whole remainder of your life uncouth or 
comfortable to you : for of all civil ac- 
tions that are incident to man, there is 
not any that tends more to his infelicity 
or happiness ; therefore it concerns you 
not to be over-hasty herein, nor to take 
ihe ball before the bound. You must be 



cautious how you thrust your neck into 
such a yoke, whence you will never have 
power to withdraw it again ; for the 
tongue useth to tie so hard a knot that 
the teeth can never untie, no not Alex- 
ander's sword can cut asunder, amongst 
us Christians. If you are resolved to 
marry, choose where you love, and resolve 
to love your choice : let love rather than 
lucre be your guide in this election ; 
though a concurrence of both be good, 
yet, for my part, I had rather the latter 
should be wanting than the first : the 
one is the pilot, the other but the bal- 
last of the ship, which should carry us to 
the harbour of a happy life. If you are 
bent to wed, I wish you another guess 
wife than Socrates had : who when she 
had scolded him out of doors, as he was 
going through the portal, threw a cham- 
ber pot of stale urine upon his head; 
whereat the philosopher, having been 
silent all the while, smilingly said, " I 
thought after so much thimder we should 
have rain." And as I wish you may not 
light upon such a Xantippe (as the wisest 
men have had ill luck in this kind, as I 
could instance in two of our most emi- 
nent lawyers, C. B.), so I pray that God 
may deliver you from a wife of such a 
generation that Strowd our cook here 
at Westminster said his wife was of, 
who, when (out of a mislike of the 
preacher) he had on Sunday in the after- 
noon gone out of the church to a tavern, 
and returning towards the evening pretty 
well heated with Canary, to look to his 
roast, and his wife falling to read him a 
loud lesson in so furious a manner, as if 
she would have basted him instead of the 
mutton, and, among other revilings, tell- 
ing him often, " That the devil, the de- 
vil would fetch him ;" at last he broke 
out of a long silence, and told her, "I 
prithee, good wife, hold thyself content : 
for I know the devil will do 'me no hurt, 
for I have married his kinswoman." If 
you light upon such a mfe (a wife that 
hath more bone than flesh), I wish you 
may have the same measure of patience 
that Socrates and Strowd had, to suffer 
the grey mare sometimes to be the bet- 
ter horse. I remember a French pro- 
verb : — 

La maison est miserabile et mechante. 
Ou la poule plus haul que le cocq chante. 

That house doth every daj' more wretched 
Where the hen lender than the cock doth crow. 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



13\ 



Yet we have another English proverb, 
almost counter to this, " That it is bet- 
ter to marry a shrew than a sheep ;" for 
though silence be the dumb orator of 
beauty, and the best ornament of a wo- 
man, yet a phlegmatic dull wife is ful- 
some and fastidious. 

Excuse me, cousin, that I jest with 
you in so serious a business : I know you 
need no counsel of mine herein : you are 
discreet enough of yourself; nor, I pre- 
sume, do you want advice of parents, 
which by all means must go along with 
you. So wishing you all conjugal joy, 
and an happy confarreation, I rest your 
aflFectionate cousin. 



LETTER XIX. 

From the same to the Lady Jane Savage, 
Marchioness of Winchester. 

Lond. loth Mar. 1626. 

Excellent lady, 
I MAY say of your grace as it was said 
once of a rare Italian princess, that you 
are the greatest tyrant in the world, be- 
cause you make all those that see you 
your slaves, much more them that know 
you, I mean those that are acquainted 
with your inward disposition, and witli 
the faculties of your soul, as well as the 
phisnomy of your face ; for virtue took 
as much pains to adorn the one, as na- 
ture did to perfect the other. I have 
had the happiness to know both, when 
your grace took pleasure to learn Spa- 
nish : at which time, when my betters 
far had offered their service in this kind, 
I had the honour to be commanded by 
you often. He that hath as much expe- 
rience of you as I have had will confess, 
that the handmaid of God xAhnighty was 
never so prodigal of her gifts to any, or 
laboured more to frame an exact model 
of female perfection : nor was dame Na- 
ture only busied in this work ; but all 
the Graces did consult and co-operate 
with her ; and they wasted so much of 
their treasure to enrich this one piece, 
that it may be a good reason why so 
many lame and defective fragments of 
women-kind are daily thrust into the 
world. 

I return you here the enclosed sonnet 
youi' grace pleased to send me lately, 
rendered into Spanish, and fitted for the 
same air it had in Eno-lish, both for ca- 



dence and number of feet. With it I 
send my most humble thanks, that your 
grace would descend to command me in 
any thing that might conduce to your 
contentment and service ; for there is 
nothing I desire with a greater ambition 
(and herein I have all the world my ri- 
val) than to be accounted, madam, your 
grace's most humble and ready servitor. 



LETTER XX. 

From the same to Mr, R. Sc. at York. 



Sir, 



Lond, 19th July, 
the first of the Dogdays, 1 626. 



I SENT you one of the 3d current, but it 
was not answered ; I sent another the 
13th, like a second arrow, to find out 
the first ; but I know not what's become 
of either : I send this to find out the 
other two, and if this fail, there shall 
go no more out of my quiver. If you 
forget me, I have cause to complain, and 
more if you remember me : to forget 
may proceed from the frailty of memory ; 
not to answer me when you mind me is 
pure neglect, and no less than a piacle. 
So I rest yours, easily to be recovered. 

Ira furor breves, brevis est mea littera ; cogor, 
Ira correptus, corripuisse stylum. 



LETTER XXI. 

From the same to the Right Honourable 
Lady Scroop, Countess of Sunderland ; 
from Stamford. 

Stamford, 5th Aug. 1628. 

Madam, 
I LAY yesternight at the post-house at 
Stilton, and this morning betimes the 
postmaster came to my lK;d's head, and 
told me the duke of Buckingham was 
slain. My faith was not then strong 
enough to believe it, till an hour ago I 
met in the way with my lord of Rutland 
(your brother) riding post towards Lon- 
don ; it pleased him to alight, and shew 
me a letter, wherein there was an exact 
relation of all the circumstances of this 
sad tragedy. 

Upon Saturday last, which was but 
next before yesterday, being Bartholo- 
mew eve, the duke did rise up in a Avell- 
disposed humour out of his bed, and cut 
K 2 



132 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



a caper or two, and being ready, and 
having been under the barber's hand 
(where the murderer had thought to have 
done the deed, for he was leaning upon 
the window aU the while), he went to 
breakfast, attended by a great company 
of commanders, where monsieur Subize 
came to him, and whispered him in the 
ear that Rochel was relieved ; the duke 
seemed to slight the news, which made 
some think that Subize went away dis- 
contented. After breakfast the duke 
going out, colonel Fryer stept before 
him, and stopped him upon some busi- 
ness ; and lieutenant Felton, being be- 
hind, made a thrust with a common ten- 
penny knife over Fryer's arm at the duke, 
which lighted so fatally that he slit his 
heart in two, leaving the khife sticking 
in the body. The duke took out the 
knife, and threw it away ; and laying 
his hand on his sword, and drawing it 
half out, said, " The villain hath killed 
me" (meaning, as some think, colonel 
Fryer, for there had been some differ- 
ence betwixt them) ; so reeling against a 
chimney, he fell down dead. The du- 
chess being with child, hearing the noise 
below, came in her night-geers from her 
bedchamber, which was in an upper 
room, to a kind of rail, and thence be- 
held him weltering in his own blood. 
Felton had lost his hat in the crowd, 
wherein there was a paper sewed, where- 
in he declared, that the reason which 
moved him to this act was no gi'udge 
of his own, though he had been far be- 
hind for his pay, and had been put by 
his captain's place twice, but in regard 
he thought the duke an enemy to the 
state, because he was branded in parlia- 
ment ; therefore what he did was for the 
public good of his country. Yet he got 
clearly down, and so might have gone to 
his horse, wliich was tied to a hedge hard 
by ; but he was so amazed that he missed 
his way, and so struck into the pastry, 
where, although the cry went that some 
Frenchman had done it, he, thinking 
the word was Felton, boldly confessed it 
was he that had done the deed, and so 
he was in their hands. Jack Stamford 
would have run at him, but he was kept 
off by Mr. Nicholas ; so being carried up 
to a tower, captain Mince tore off his 
spurs, and asking how he durst attempt 
such an act, making him believe the 
duke was not dead, he answered boldly, 
that he knew he was dispatched, for it 



was not he, but the hand of Heaven that 
gave the stroke ; and though his whole 
body had been covered over with armour 
of proof, he could not have avoided it. 
Captain Charles Price went post present- 
ly to the king four miles off, who being 
at prayers on his knees when it was told 
him, yet never stirred, nor was hQ dis- 
turbed a whit till all divine service was 
done. This was the relation, as far as 
my memory could bear, in my lord of 
Rutland's letter, who willed me to re- 
member him to your ladyship, and tell 
you that he was going to comfort your 
neice (the duchess) as fast as he could. 
And so I have sent the truth of this sad 
story to your ladyship as fast as I could 
by this post, because I cannot make that 
speed myself, in regard of some business 
I have to dispatch for my lord in the 
way ; so I humbly take my leave, and 
rest your ladyship's most dutiful servant. 

LETTER XXIL 

From James Howel, Esq, to his Cousin 
Mr. St. John, at Christ Church College 
in Oxford. 

London, 25 th Oct. 1627. 
Cousin, 
Though you want no incitements to go 
on in that fair road of virtue where you 
ar^e now running your course, yet being 
lately in your noble father's company, 
he did intimate to me, that any thing 
which came from me would take with 
you very much. I hear so well of your 
proceedings, that I should rather com- 
mend than encourage you. I know you 
were removed to Oxford in full matu- 
rity, you were a good orator, a good 
poet, and a good linguist for your time ; 
I would not have that fate light upon 
you, which useth to befal some, who 
from golden students became silver ba- 
chelors, and leaden masters. I am far 
from entertaining such thought of you, 
that logic with her quiddities, and qucs, 
la, vel hipps, can any way unpolish your 
humane studies. As logic is clubfisted 
and crabbed, so she is terrible at first 
sight ; she is like a gorgon's head to a 
young student ; but after a twelvemonth's 
constancy and patience, this gorgon's 
head will prove a mere bugbear ; when 
you have devoured the organon, you 
will find philosophy far more delightful 
and pleasing to your palate. In feeding 
the soul with knowledge, the under- 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



133 



standing' requireth the same consecutive 
acts which nature useth in nourishing 
the hody. To the nutrition of the body 
there are two essential conditions re- 
quired, assumption and retention, then 
there follows two more, irs'^is and 
7*rpQa-Q(,^iS, concoction and agglutina- 
tion, or adhesion : so in feeding your 
soul with science, you must first assume 
and suck in the matter into your 
apprehension, then must the memory 
retain and keep it in; afterwards by 
disputation, discourse, and meditation, 
it must be well concocted ; then it must 
be agglutinated, and converted to nu- 
triment. All this may be reduced to 
these two heads, tcnere fideliter, et vti 
fceliciter, which are two of the happiest 
properties of a student. There is ano- 
ther act required to good concoction, 
called the act of expulsion, which puts 
off all that is unsound and noxious ; so 
in study there must be an expulsive 
virtue to shun all that is erroneous ; 
and there is no science but is full of 
such stuff, which by direction of tutor, 
and choice of good books, must be ex- 
cerned. Do not confound yourself with 
multiplicity of authors, two is enough 
upon any science, provided they be ple- 
nary and orthodox ; philosophy should be 
your substantial food, poetry your ban- 
quetting-stuff ; philosophy hath more of 
reality in it than any knowledge ; the 
philosopher can fathom the deep, mea- 
sure mountains, reach the stars with a 
staff, and bless heaven with a girdle. 

But among these studies, you must not 
forget the unicum necessarimu : on Sun- 
days and holidays let divinity be the sole 
object of your speculation, in comparison 
whereof all other knowledge is but cob- 
web learning : prcB qua quisquilice ccetera. 

When you can make truce with study, 
I should be glad you would employ some 
superfluous hour or other to write to 
me, for I much covet your good, because 
I am your affectionate cousin. 



LETTER XXin. 

From the same to J. S. Knight. 



Sir, 



London, 25th May, 1628. 



away twice from me, but he knew the 
way back again. Yet though he hath 
a running head as well as running heels, 
(and who will expect a footman to be a 
stayed man ?) I would not part with him 
were I not to go post to the North. — 
There be some things in him that answer 
for his waggeries ; he will come when 
you call him, go when you bid him, and 
shut the door after him ; he is faithful 
and stout, and a lover of his master ; he 
is a great enemy to all dogs, if they bark 
at him in his running, for I have seen 
him confront a huge mastiff, and knock 
him down : when you go a country jour- 
ney, or have him run with you a hunt- 
ing, you must spirit him with liquor ; 
you must allow him also something ex- 
traordinary for socks, else you must not 
have him to wait at your table; when 
his grease melts in running hard, it is 
subject to fall into his toes. I send him 
you but for trial ; if he be not for your 
turn, turn him over to me again when 
I come back. 

The best news I can send you at this 
time is, that we are like to have a peace 
both with France and Spain ; so that 
Harwich men, your neighbours, shall 
not hereafter need to fear the name of 
Spinola, who struck such an apprehen- 
sion into them lately, that I understand 
they began to fortify. 

I pray present my most humble ser- 
vice to my good lady, and at my return 
from the North I will be bold to kiss 
her hands and yours. So I am your 
much obliged servitor. 



LETTER XXIV. 



From the same to R. S. Esq. 



Sir, 



Westminster, 3d Au;^-. 1629. 



You writ to me lately for a footman, 
and I think this bearer will fit you : I 
know he can run well, for he hath run 



I AM one of them who value not a 
courtesy that hangs long betwixt the 
fingers. I love not those viscosa bene- 
jicia, those bird-limed kindnesses, whicli 
Pliny speaks of; nor would I receive 
money in a dirty clout, if possible I 
could be without it : therefore I return 
you the courtesy by the same hand 
that brought it ; it might have pleasured 
me at first, but the expectation of it 
hath prejudiced me, and now perhaps 
you may have more need of it than your 
humble servitor. 



134 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book II. 



LETTER XXV. 

From James Howel, Esq. to his Father. 



Sir, 



London, Dec. ."3d, 1630. 



Sir Tho. Wentworth hath been a good 
while lord president of York, and since 
is sworn privy counsellor, and made 
baron and viscount : the duke of Buck- 
ingham himself flew not so high in so 
short a revolution of time : he was made 
viscount with a great deal of high cere- 
mony upon a Sunday in the afternoon at 
Whitehall. Mylordof Powis (who affects 
him not so much) being told that the 
heralds had fetched his pedigree from 
the blood-royal, viz. from John of 

Gaunt, said, " D e, if ever he come 

to be king of England, I will turn 
rebel." When I went first to give him 
joy, he pleased to give me the disposing 
of the next attorney's place that falls 
void in York, which is valued at 300/. 
I have no reason to leave my lord of 
Sunderland, for I hope he will be noble 
unto me. The perquisites of my place, 
taking the king's fee away, came far 
short of what he promised me at my first 
coming to him, in regard of his non-re- 
sidence at York ; therefore I hope he 
will consider it some other way. This 
languishing sickness still hangs on him, 
and I fear will make an end of him. 
There's none can tell what to make of 
it, but he voided lately a small worm at 
Wickham ; but I fear there's an impost- 
hume growing in him, for he told me a 
passage, how many years ago my lord 
Willoughby and he, with so many of 
their servants (de gaiete de c(siir) played 
a match at foot-ball against such a num- 
ber of countrymen, where my lord of 
Sunderland being busy about the ball, 
got a bruise in the breast, which put him 
in a swoon for the present, but did not 
trouble him till three months after, when 
being at Bever Castle (his brother-in- 
law's house) a qualm took him on a 
sudden, which made him retire to his 
bedchamber. My lord of Rutland fol- 
lowing him, put a pipe full of tobacco in 
his mouth ; he being not accustomed to 
tobacco, taking the smoke downwards, 
fell a casting and vomiting up divers 
little imposthumated bladders of con- 
gealed blood, which saved his life then, 
and brought him to have a better conceit 
of tobacco ever after ; and I fear there 



is some of that clotted blood still in his 
body. 

Because Mr. Hawes of Cheapside is 
lately dead, 1 have removed my brother 
Griffith to the Hen and Chickens in Pa- 
ternoster Row, to Mr. Taylor's, as gen- 
teel a shop as any in the city ; but I gave 
a piece or plate of twenty nobles' price 
to his wife. I wish the Yorkshire horse 
may be fit for your turn ; he was ac- 
counted the best saddle gelding about 
York, when I bought him of captain 
Philips, the muster master : and when 
he carried me first to London, there was 
twenty pounds offered for him by my 
lady Carlisle. No more now, but de- 
siring a continuance of your blessing 
and prayers, 1 rest your dutiful son. 

LETTER XXVL 

From the same to the Right Rev. Dr. 
Field, lord bishop of St. David's. 

Westminster, 1st May, 1632, 

My lord, 
Your late letter affected me with two 
contrary passions, with gladness and 
sorrow. The beginning of it dilated my 
spirits with apprehensions of joy, that 
you are so well recovered of your late 
sickness, which I heartily congratulate : 
but the conclusion of your lordship's let- 
ter contracted my spirits, and plunged 
them in a deep sense of just sorrow, while 
you please to writ© me news of my dear 
father's death. Permulsit initinm, per- 
cussit finis. Truly, my lord, it is the 
heaviest news that ever was sent me ; but 
Avhen I recollect myself, and consider 
the fairness and maturity of his age, and 
that it was rather a gentle dissolution 
than a death ; when 1 contemplate that 
infinite advantage he hath got by this 
change and transmigration, it much light- 
ens the weight of my grief; for if ever 
human soul entered heaven, surely his 
is there. Such was his constant piety 
to God, his rare indulgence to his 
children, his charity to his neighbours, 
and his candour in reconciling differ- 
ences ; such was the gentleness of his 
disposition, his unwearied course in ac- 
tions of virtue, that I wish my soul no 
other felicity, when she hath shaken 
off these rags of flesh, than to ascend to 
his, and coenjoy the same bliss. 

Excuse me, my lord, that I take my 
leave at this time so abruptly of you : 



S ECT. II 



IVLODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



135 



Avhen this sorrow is a little digested, 
you shall hear further from me ; for I 
am your lordship's most true and hum- 
ble servitor. 



LETTER XXVn. 

Fro7n the same to sir Ed. B Knight. 



Sir, 



London, 25th July, 1635. 



1 RECEIVED yours this Maundy Thurs- 
day ; and whereas among other passages, 
and high endearments of love, you de- 
sire to know what method I observe in 
the exercise of my devotions, I thank 
you for your request, which I have rea- 
son to believe doth proceed from an ex- 
traordinary respect to me ; and I will 
deal with you herein as one should do 
with his confessor. 

It is true, though there be rules and 
rubrics in our Liturgy sufl&cient to guide 
every one in the performance of all holy 
duties, yet I believe every one hath 
some mode and model or formulary of 
his own, especially for his private cu- 
bicular devotions. 

I will begin with the last day of the 
week, and with the latter end of that 
day, I mean Saturday evening, on which 
I have fasted ever since I was a youth in 
Venice, for being delivered from a very 
great danger. This year I use some ex- 
traordinary acts of devotion, to usher in 
the ensuing Sunday in hymns, and va- 
rious prayers of my own penning, before 
I go to bed. On Sunday morning I rise 
earlier than upon other days, to prepare 
myself for the sanctifying of it ; nor do 
I use barber, taylor, shoe-maker, or 
any other mechanic, that morning ; and 
whatsoever diversions or lets may hinder 
me the week before, I never miss, but in 
caae of sickness, to repair to God's holy 
house that day, where I come before 
prayers begin, to make myself fitter for 
the work by some previous meditations, 
and to take the whole service along with 
me ; nor do I love to mingle speech with 
any in the interim, about news or worldly 
negociations, in God's holy house. I 
prostrate myself in the humblest and de- 
centest way of genuflection I can imagine ; 
nor do I believe there can be any excess 
of exterior humility in that place ; there- 
fore I do not like those squatting unseem- 
ly bold postures upon one's tail, or muf- 



fling the face in the hat, or thrusting it 
in some hole, or covering it with one's 
hand ; but with bended knee, and in 
open confident face, I fix my eyes on the 
east part of the church, and heaven. I 
endeavour to apply every tittle of the ser- 
vice to my own conscience and occasions ; 
and I believe the want of this, with the 
huddling up and careless reading of some 
ministers, with the commonness of it, is 
the greatest cause that many do under- 
value and take a surfeit of our public 
service. 

For the reading and singing psalms, 
whereas most of them are either petitions 
or eucharistical ejaculations, I listen to 
them more attentively and make them 
my own. Wlien I stand at the Creed, I 
think upon the custom they have in Po- 
land, and elsewhere, for gentlemen to 
draw their swords all the while, intimat- 
ing thereby that they will defend it with 
their lives and blood. And for the De- 
calogue, whereas others use to rise, and 
sit, I ever kneel at it in the humblest 
and tremblingest posture of all ; to crave 
remission for the breaches passed of any 
of God's holy commandments (especiaUy 
the week before), and future grace to 
observe them. 

I love a holy devout sermon, that first 
checks and then cheers the conscience ; 
that begins with the Law, and ends witV^ 
the Gospel ; but I never prejudicate or 
censure any preacher, taking him as I 
find him. 

And now that we are not only adulted, 
but ancient Christians, I believe the most 
acceptable sacrifice we can send up to 
heaven is prayer and praise ; and that 
sermons are not so essential as either of 
them to the true practice of devotion. 
The rest of the holy sabbath I sequester 
my body and mind as much as I can 
from worldly affairs. 

Upon Monday morn, as soon as the 
Cinque Ports are open, I have a parti- 
cular prayer of thanks that I am re- 
prieved to the beginning of that week ; 
and every day following I knock thrice 
at heaven's gate, in the morning, in the 
evening, and at night ; besides prayers 
at meals, and some other occasional eja- 
culations, as upon the putting on of a 
clean shirt, washing my hands, and 
at lighting of candles, which, because 
they are sudden, I do in the tliird 
person. 

Tuesday morning I rise winter and 



136 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book If. 



summer as soon as I wake, and send up 
a more particular sacrifice for some rea- 
sons ; and as I am disposed, or have 
business, I go to bed again. 

Upon Wednesday night I always fast, 
and perform also some extraordinary acts 
of devotion, as also upon Friday night ; 
and Saturday morning, as soon as my 
senses are unlocked, I get up. And in 
the summer time I am oftentimes abroad 
in some private field to attend the sun- 
rising ; and as I pray thrice every day, 
so I fast thrice every week ; at least 
I eat but one meal upon Wednesdays, 
Fridays, and Saturdays, in regard I am 
jealous with myself, to have more infir- 
mities to answer for than others. 

Before I go to bed, I make a scrutiny 
what peccant humours have reigned in 
me that day ; and so I reconcile myself 
to my Creator, and strike a tally in the 
exchequer of heaven for my quietus est, 
ere I close my eyes, and leave no burden 
upon my conscience. 

Before I presume to take the holy sa- 
crament, I use some extraordinary acts 
of humiliation to prepare myself some 
days before, and by doing some deeds of 
charity ; and commonly I compose some 
new prayers. 

I use not to rush rashly into prayer 
without a trembling precedent medita- 
tion ; and if any odd thoughts intervene, 
and grow upon me, I check myself, and 
recommence ; and this is incident to 
long prayers, which are more subject to 
man's weakness and the devil's malice. 

By these steps I strive to climb up to 
heaven, and my soul prompts me I shall 
go thither ; for there is no object in the 
world delights me more than to cast up 
my eyes that way, especially in a star- 
light night ; and if my mind be overcast 
with any odd clouds of melancholy, when 
I look up and behold that glorious fa- 
bric, which I hope shall be my country 
hereafter, there are new spirits begot in 
me presently, which make me scorn the 
world and the pleasures thereof, con- 
sidering the vanity of the one, and the 
inanity of the other. 

Thus my soul still moves eastward, as 
all the heavenly bodies do ; but I must 
tell you, that as those bodies are over- 
mastered, and snatched away to the west, 
raptu primi mohilis, by the general mo- 
tion of the tenth sphere, so by those epi- 
demical infirmities which are incident to 
man, I am often snatched away a clean 



contrary course, yet my soul persists still 
in her own proper motion. I am often 
at variance and angry with myself (nor 
do I hold this anger to be any breach of 
charity), when I consider, that whereas 
my Creator intended this body of mine, 
though a lump of clay, to be a temple 
of his holy Spirit, my affection should 
turn it often to a brothel-house, my pas- 
sions to a bedlam, and my excess to an 
hospital. 

Being of a lay profession, 1 humbly 
conform to the constitutions of the 
church, and my spiritual superiors ; and 
I hold this obedience to be an accepta- 
ble sacrifice to God. 

Difference in opinion may work a dis- 
affection in me, but not a detestation ; 1 
rather pity than hate Turk or Infidel, 
for they are of the same metal, and bear 
the same stamp as I do, though the in- 
scription differ. If I hate any, it is those 
schismatics that puzzle the sweet peace 
of our church ; so that I could be con- 
tent to see an Anabaptist go to hell on 
a Brownist's back. 

Noble knight, now that I have thus 
eviscerated myself, a:id dealt so clearly 
with you, I desire by way of correspond- 
ence, that you will tell me what way 
you take in your journey to heaven ; for 
if my breast lie so open to you, it is not 
fitting yours should be shut up to me ; 
therefore I pray let me hear from you 
when it may stand with your conve- 
nience. 

So I wish you your heart's desire here, 
and heaven hereafter, because I am yours 
in no vulgar friendship. 

LETTER XXVIII. 

From Ja7nes Hoivel, Esq, to Master 
Thomas Adams. 



Sir, 



Westminster, 25th August, 1633. 



I PRAY Stir nimbly in the business you 
imparted to me last, and let it not lan- 
guish ; you know how much it concerns 
your credit, and the conveniency of a 
friend who deserves so well of you : I 
fear you will meet Avith divers obstacles 
in the way, which, if you cannot remove, 
you must overcome. A lukewarm irre- 
solute man did never any thing well ; 
every thought entangles him ; therefore 
you must pursue the point of your 
design with heat, and set all wheels a- 



Sect. 11. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



137 



going. It is a true badge of a generous 
nature, being once embarked in a bu- 
siness, to hoise up and spread every sail, 
main, mizen, sprit, and top-sail ; by that 
means he will sooner arrive at his port. 
If the winds be so cross, and that there 
be such a fate in the thing, that it can 
take no effect, yet you shall have where- 
with to satisfy an honest mind, that you 
left no thing unattempted to compass it ; 
for in the conduct of human affairs, it is 
a rule. That a good conscience hath al- 
ways within doors enough to reward it- 
self, though the success fall not out ac- 
cording to the merit of the endeavour. 

I was J according to your desire, to 
visit the late new married couple more 
than once ; and to tell you true, I never 
saw such a disparity between two that 
were made one flesh in all my life ; he 
handsome outwardly but of odd condi- 
tions ; she excellently qualified, but hard- 
favoured ; so that the one may be com- 
pared to a cloth of tissue doubled, cut 
upon coarse canvas ; the other to a buck- 
ram petticoat, lined with satin. I think 
Clotho had her fingers smutted in snuffing 
the candle, when she began to spin the 
thread of her life, and Lachesis frowned 
in twisting it up ; but Aglaia, with the 
rest of the Graces, were in a good hu- 
mour when they formed her inner parts. 
A blind man is fittest to hear her sing ; 
one would take delight to see her dance 
if masked ; and it would please you to 
discourse with her in the dark, for there 
she is best company, if your imagination 
can forbear to run upon her face. When 
you marry, I wish you such an inside of 
a wife ; but from such an outward phis- 
nomy the Lord deliver you, and your 
faithful friend to serve you. 



LETTER XXIX. 

JFrom the same to his Nephew J. P. at 
St. Johns in Oxford. 

Westmhister, 1st August, 1633. 
Nephew, 
I HAD from you lately two letters ; the 
last was weU freighted with very good 
stuff, but the other, to deal plainly with 
you, was not so ; there was as much dif- 
ference between them, as betwixt a 
Scotch pedlar's pack in Poland, and the 
magazine of an English merchant in Na- 
ples, the one being usually full of taffaty. 



silks, and satins ; the other of calicoes, 
threads, ribbons, and such poldavy ware. 
I perceive you have good commodities to 
vend, if you take the pains : your trifles 
and bagatelles are ill bestowed upon me, 
therefore hereafter I pray let me have of 
your best sort of wares. I am glad to 
find that you have stored up so much 
already : you are in the best mart in the 
world to improve them, which I hope 
you daily do, and I doubt not, when the 
time of your apprenticeship there is ex- 
pired, but you shall find a good market to 
expose them, for your own and the public 
benefit abroad. I have sent you the phi- 
losophy books you wrote to me for; 
any thing that you want of this kind for 
the advancement of your studies, do but 
write, and I shaU furnish you. When I 
was a student as you are, my practice was 
to borrow rather than buy some sort of 
books, and to be always punctual in re- 
storing them upon the day assigned, and 
in the interim to swallow of them as 
much as made for my turn. This obliged 
me to read them through with more 
haste to keep my word, whereas I had 
not been so careM to peruse them had 
they been my own books, which I knew 
were always ready at my dispose. I 
thank you heartily for your last letter, in 
regard I found it smelt of the lamp ; I 
pray let your next do so, and the oil and 
labour shall not be lost which you ex- 
pend upon your assured loving uncle. 



LETTER XXX. 

From the same to the Right Honourable 
the Lady Elizabeth Digby. 

Westminster, 5th August. 
Madam, 
It is no improper comparison, that a 
thankful heart is like a box of precious 
ointment, which keeps the smell long 
after the thing is spent. Madam, with- 
out vanity be it spoken, such is my heart 
to you, and such are your favours to me ; 
the strong aromatic odour they carried 
with them diffused itself through all the 
veins of my heart, especially through the 
left ventricle where the most illustrious 
blood lies ; so that the perfume of them 
remains stiU fresh within me, and is like 
to do, while that triangle of flesh dilates 
and shuts itself within my breast ; nor 
doth this perfume stay there, but as all 



138 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book II. 



smells naturally tend upwards, it hath 
ascended to my brain, and sweetened all 
the cells thereof, especially the memory, 
which may be said to be a cabinet also 
to preserve courtesies ; for though the 
heart be the box of love, the memory is 
the box of lastingness ; the one may be 
termed the source whence the motions 
of g-ratitude flow, the other the cistern 
that keeps them. 

But your ladyship will say, these are 
words only ; I confess it, it is but a ver- 
bal acknowledgment ; but, madam, if I 
were made happy with an opportunity, 
you shall quickly find these words turned 
to actions, either to go, to run, or ride 
upon your errand. In expectation of 
such a favourable occasion, I rest, ma- 
dam, your ladyship's most humble and 
enchained servitor. 

LETTER XXXI. 

Frofti James Howel, Esq. to Mr. Tko. H, 



Sir, 



Fleet, 7th Nov. 1644. 



Though the time abound with schisms 
more than ever (the more is our misery), 
yet I hope you will not suffer any to 
creep into our friendship ; though I ap- 
prehend some fears thereof by your long 
silence and cessation of literal corre- 
spondence. You know there is a peculiar 
religion attends friendship ; there is, 
according to the etymology of the word, 
a litigation and solemn tie, the rescind- 
ing whereof may be truly called a schism, 
or a piacle, which is more. There be- 
long to this religion of friendship certain 
due rites and decent ceremonies, as 
visits, messages, and missives. Though 
I am content to believe that you are firm 
in the fundamentals, yet I find, under 
favour, that you have lately fallen short 
of performing those exterior offices, as if 
the ceremonial law were quite abrogated 
with you in all things. Friendship also 
allows of merits, and works of superero- 
gation sometimes, to make her capable 
of eternity. You know that pair which 
were taken up into heaven, and placed 
among the brightest stars for their rare 
constancy and fidelity one to the other ; 
you know also they are put among the 
fixed stars, not the erratics, to shew there 
must be no inconstancy in love. Navi- 
gators steer their course by them, and 
they are the best friends in working seas. 



dark nights, and distresses of weather, 
whence may be inferred, that true friends 
should shine clearest in adversity, in 
cloudy and doubtful times. On my part,^ 
this ancient friendship is still pure, ortho- 
dox, and uncorrupted ; and though I have 
not the opportunity (as you have) to per- 
form all the rites thereof in regard of 
this recluse life, yet I shaU never err in 
the essentials : I am still yours xr^Vst 
(in possession), though I cannot be 
^pYi(rsi (in use) ; for in statu quo nunc, I 
am grown useless and good for nothing, 
yet in point of possession, I am as much 
as ever your firm unalterable servitor. 

LETTER XXXII. 

From the same to Dr. D. Featly. 



Sir, 



Fleet, 2d Aug. 1644. 



I RECEIVED your answer to that fiitilous 
pamphlet, with your desire of my opi- 
nion touching it. Truly, sir, I must 
tell you, that never poor cur was tossed 
in a blanket, as you have tossed that 
poor coxcomb in the sheet you pleased 
to send me ; for whereas a fillip might 
have felled him, you have knocked him 
down with a kind of Herculean club, 
sans resource. These times (more is the 
pity) labour with the same disease that 
France did during the league, as a fa- 
mous author hath it. Prurigo scripturi- 
entium erat scabies temporum ; " The 
itching of scribblers was the scab of the 
time : " it is just so now, that any trio- 
bolary pasquiller, every tressis agaso, any 
sterquilinous rascal, is licensed to throw 
dirt in the faces of sovereign princes in 
open printed language. But I hope the 
times will mend, and your man alsa> if 
he hath any grace, you have so well 
corrected him. So I rest yours to serve 
and reverence you. 



LETTER XXXIII. 

From the same to his honoured friend 
Sir S. C. 



Sir, 



Holborn, 17th March, 1639. 



I WAS upon point of going abroad to 
steal a solitary walk, when yours of the 
12th current came to hand. Tlie high 
researches and choice abstracted notions 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



139 



I found therein, seemed to heighten my 
spirits, and make my fancy litter for my 
intended retirement and meditation : add 
hereunto that the countenance of the 
weather invited me ; for it was a still 
evening, it was also a clear open sky, not 
a speck, or the least wrinkle appeared in 
the whole face of heaven, it was such a 
pure deep azure all the hemisphere over, 
that I wondered what was become of 
the three regions of the air with their 
meteors. So having got into a close 
held, I cast my face upward, and fell to 
consider wliat a rare prerogative the op- 
tic virtue of the eye hath, much more 
the intuitive virtue in the thought, that 
the one in a moment can reach heaven, 
and the other go beyond it ; therefore 
sure that philosopher was but a kind of 
frantic fool, that would have plucked out 
both his eyes, because they were a hin- 
drance to his speculations. Moreover, 
I began to contemplate, as I was in this 
posture, the vast magnitude of the uni- 
verse, and what proportion this poor 
globe of earth might bear with it ; for if 
those numberless bodies which stick in the 
vast roof of heaven, though they appear 
to us but as spangles, be some of them 
thousands of times bigger than the earth, 
take the sea with it to boot, for they both 
make but one sphere, surely the astro- 
nomers had reason to term this sphere an 
indivisible point, and a thing of no di- 
mension at all, being compared to the 
whole world. I fell then to think, that 
at the second general destruction, it is no 
more for God Almighty to fire this earth, 
than for us to blow up a small squib, or 
rather one small grain of gunpowder. 
As I Avas musing thus, I spied a swarm of 
gnats waving up and down the air about 
me, which I knew to be part of the uni- 
verse as well as I : and methought it was 
a strange opinion of our Aristotle to hold, 
that the least of those small insected ephe- 
merans should be more noble than the 
sun, because it had a sensitive soul in it. 
I fell to think that in the same proportion 
which those animalillios bore with me in 
point of bigness, the same I held with 
those glorious spirits which are near the 
throne of the Almighty. What then 
should we think of the magnitude of the 
Creator himself? Doubtless, it is beyond 
the reacb of any human imagination to 
conceive it : in my private devotions I 
presume to compare him to a great 
mountain of light, and my soul seems to 



discern some glorious form therein ; 
but suddenly as she would fix her eyes 
upon the object, her sight is presently 
dazzled and disgregated Avith the reful- 
gency and coruscations thereof. 

Walking a little further I spied a young 
boisterous bull breaking over hedge and 
ditch to a herd of kine in the next pas- 
ture ; which made me think, that if that 
fierce, strong animal, with others of that 
kind, knew their own strength, they 
would never suffer man to be their mas- 
ter. Then looking upon them quietly 
grazing up and down, I fell to consider 
that the flesh which is daily dished upon 
our tables is but concocted grass, which 
is recarnified in our stomachs, and 
transmuted to another flesh. I fell also 
to think what advantage those innocent 
animals had of man, who as soon as na- 
ture cast them into the world, find their 
meat dressed, the cloth laid, and the 
table covered ; they find their drink 
brewed, and the buttery open, their 
beds made, and their clothes ready; 
and though man hath the faculty of 
reason to make him a compensation for 
the want of those advantages, yet this 
reason brings with it a thosuand per- 
turbations of mind and perplexities of 
spirit, griping cares and anguishes of 
thought, which those harmless silly 
creatures were exempted fi-om. Going 
on I came to repose myself upon the 
trunk of a tree, and I fell to consider 
further what advantage that dull vege- 
table had of those feeding animals, as not 
to be so troublesome and beholden to 
nature, not to be subject to starving, to 
diseases, to the inclemency of the wea- 
ther, and to be far longer-lived. Then I 
spied a great stone, and sitting a while 
upon it, I feel to weigh in my thoughts 
that that stone was in a happier condition 
in some respects, than either of those 
sensitive creatures or vegetables I saw be- 
fore ; in regard that that stone, which 
propagates by assimilation, as the philo- 
sophers say, needed neither grass nor 
hay, or any aliment for restoration of 
nature, nor water to refresh its roots, or 
the heat of the sun to attract the moisture 
upwards, to increase the growth, as the 
other did. As I directed my pace liome- 
Avard, I spied a kite soaring high in the 
air, and gently gliding up and down the 
clear region so far above my head, that I 
fell to envy the bird extremely, and re- 
})ine at his happiness, that he should 



140 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



have a privileg'e to make a nearer ap- 
proach to heaven than L 

Excuse me that I trouhle you thus 
with these rambling meditations, they 
are to correspond with you in some part 
for those accurate fancies of yours lately 
sent me. So I rest your entire and true 
servitor. 



no cause to brag of ; 
teroons : 



hate such bla- 



Odi illos ceu clausiru Erebi- 



I thought good to give you this little 
mot of advice, because the times are 
ticklish, of committing secrets to any, 
though not to your most affectionate 
friend to serve you. 

LETTER XXXV. 

FromJas. Howel, Esq. to Mr, R Howard. jprom the same to Sir K. D, at Rome. 



LETTER XXXIV. 



Sir, 



Fleet, 14th Feb. 164" 



There is a saying that carrieth with 
it a great deal of caution ; '* From him 
whom I trust God defend me ; for from 
him whom I trust not, I will defend 
myself." There be sundry sorts of 
trusts, but that of a secret is one of 
the greatest : I trusted T. P. with a 
weighty one, conjuring him that it 
should not take air and go abroad : 
which was not done according to the 
rules and religion of friendship, but 
it went out of him the very next day. 
Though the inconvenience may be mine, 
yet the reproach is his : nor would I 
exchange my damage for his disgrace. 
I would wish you take heed of him, 
for he is such as the comic poet speaks 
of, " Plenus rimarum/' "he is full of 
chinks, he can hold nothing:" you 
know a secret is too much for one, 
too little for three, and enough for 
two; but Tom must be none of those 
two, unless there were a trick to 
solder up his mouth: if he had com- 
mitted a secret to me, and enjoined 
me silence, and 1 had promised it, 
though I had been shut up in Perillus' 
brazen bull, I should not have bellowed 
it out. I find it now true, " That he 
who discovers his secrets to another, 
sells him his liberty, and becomes his 
slave:" well, I shall be warier here- 
after, and learn more wit. In the in- 
terim, the best satisfaction I can give 
myself is, to expunge him quite ex albo 
amicorum, to raze him out of the ca- 
talogue of my friends (though I can- 
not of my acquaintance), where your 
name is inserted in great golden cha- 
racters. I will endeavour to lose the 
memory of him, and that my thoughts 
may never run more upon the fashion 
of his face, which you know he hath 



Sir, 



Fleet, 3d March 1646. 



Though you know well that in the 
carriage and course of my rambling 
life, I had occasion to be, as the Dutch- 
man saith, a landloper, and to see much 
of the world abroad, yet methinks I 
have travelled more since I have been 
immured and martyred betwixt these 
walls than ever I did before ; for I have 
travelled the Isle of Man, I mean this 
little world, which I have carried about 
me and within me so many years : for as 
the wisest of pagan philosophers said 
that the greatest learning was the know- 
ledge of one's self, to be his own geome- 
trician ; if one do so, he need not gad 
abroad to see fashions, he shall find 
enough at home, he shall hourly meet 
with new fancies, new humours, new 
passions within doors. 

This travelling over of one's self is 
one of the paths that leads a man to pa- 
radise : it is true, that it is a dirty and 
dangerous one, for it is thick set with 
extravagant desires, irregular affections 
and concupiscences, which are but odd 
comrades, and oftentimes do lie in am- 
bush to cut our throats : there are also 
some melancholy companions in the way, 
which are our thoughts, but they turn 
many time to be good fellows, and the 
best company; which makes me, that 
among these disconsolate walls I am 
never less alone than when I am alone ; 
I am oft-times sole, but seldom solitary. 
Some there are, who are over-pestered 
with these companions, and have too 
much mind for their bodies ; but 1 am 
none of those. 

There have been (since you shook 
hands with England) many strange things 
happened here, which posterity must have 
a strong faith to believe ; but for my 
part I wonder not at any thing, I have 



Sect. ll. 



MODERN, OF EARi-Y DATE. 



141 



seen such monstrous things. You know 
there is nothing that can be casual; 
there is no success, good or had, but is 
contingent to man sometimes or other ; 
nor are there any contingencies, pre- 
sent or future, but they have their pa- 
rallels from time past : for the great 
wheel of fortune, upon whose rim (as 
the twelve signs upon the zodiac) all 
worldly chances are embossed, turns 
round perpetually ; and the spokes of 
that wheel, which point at all human 
actions, return exactly to the same 
place after such a time of revolution ; 
which makes me little marvel at any of 
the strange traverses of these distracted 
times, in regard there hath been the 
like, or such like formerly. If the Li- 
turgy is now suppressed, the Missal and 
the Roman Breviary was used so a hun- 
dred years since : if crosses, church win- 
dows, organs, and fonts, are now bat- 
tered down, I little wonder at it ; for 
chapels, monasteries, hermitaries, nun- 
neries, and other religious houses, were 
used so in the time of old King Henry : 
if bishops and deans are now in danger 
to be demolished, I little wonder at it, 
for abbots, priors, and the pope himself, 
had that fortune here an age since. 
That our king is reduced to this pass, I 
do not wonder much at it ; for the first 
time I travelled France, Lewis XIII. 
(afterwards a most triumphant king as 
ever that country had) in a dangerous 
civil war was brought to such straits ; 
for he was brought to dispense with part 
of his coronation oath, to remove from 
his court of justice, from the council 
table, from his very bedchamber, his 
greatest favourites : he was driven to be 
content to pay the expense of the war, 
to reward those that took arms against 
him, and publish a declaration, that the 
ground of their quarrel was good ; which 
was the same in effect with ours, viz, a 
discontinuance of the assembly of the 
three estates, and that Spanish counsels 
did predominate in France. 

You know better than I, that all 
events, gx)od or bad, come from the all- 
disposing high Deity of heaven : if 
goad, he produceth them ; if bad, he 
permits them. He is the pilot that sits 
at the stern, and steers the great vessel 
of the world; and we must not presume 
to direct him in his course, for he un- 
derstands the use of the compass better 
than we. He commands also the winds 



and the weather, and after a storm, 
he never fails to send us a calm, and 
to recompense ill times with better, if 
we can live to see them ; which I pray 
you may do, whatsoever becomes of 
your still more faithful humble ser- 
vitor. 



LETTER XXXVI. 

From the same to Mr. En. P. at Paris. 



Sir, 



Fleet, 20th Feb. \6-i6. 



Since we are both agreed to truck in- 
telligence, and that you are contented 
to barter French for English, I shall be 
careful to send you hence from time to 
time the currentest and most staple 
stuff I can find, with weight and good 
measure to boot. I know in that more 
subtle air of yours, tinsel sometimes 
passes for tissue, Venice beads for pearl, 
and demicastors for beavers : but I know 
you have so discerning a judgment that 
you will not suffer yourself to be so 
cheated ; they must rise betimes that 
can put tricks upon you, and make you 
take semblances for realities, probabili- 
ties for certainties, or spurious for true 
things. To hold this literal correspond- 
ence, I desire but the parings of your 
time, that you may have something to 
do when you have nothing else to do, 
while I make a business of it to be 
punctual in my answers to you. Let 
our letters be as echoes, let them bound 
back and make mutual repercussions ; I 
know you that breathe upon the conti- 
nent have clearer echoes there, witness 
that in the Thuilleries, especially that 
at Charenton bridge, which quavers, and 
renders the voice ten times when it is 
open weather, and it were a virtuous cu- 
riosity to try it. 

For news, the world is here turned up- 
side down, and it hath been long a-going 
so : you know a good while since we have 
had leather caps and beaver shoes ; but 
now the arms are come to be legs, for 
bishops' lawn sleeves are worn for boot- 
hose tops ; the waist is come to the 
knee, for the points that were used to be 
about the middle are now dangling 
there. Boots and shoes are so long 
snouted, that one can hardly kneel in 
God's house, where all genuflection and 
postures of devotion and decency are 



i42 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



quite out of use : the devil may walk 
freely up and down the streets of London 
now, for there is not a cross to fright him 
any where ; and it seems he was never so 
busy in any country upon earth, for there 
have been more witches arraigned and 
executed here lately, than ever were in 
this island since the creation. 

I have no more to communicate to you 
at this time, and this is too much unless 
it were better. God Almighty send us 
patience, you in your banishment, me in 
my captivity, and give us heaven for our 
last country, where desires turn to frui- 
tion, doubts to certitude, and dark 
thoughts to clear contemplations . Truly, 
my dear Don Antonio, as the times are, 
I take little contentment to live among 
the elements : and (were it my Maker's 
pleasure) I could willingly, had I quit 
scores with the world, make my last ac- 
count with nature, and return this small 
skinful of bones to my common mother. 
If I chance to do so before you, I love 
you so entirely well that my spirit shall 
visit you, to bring you some tidings from 
the other world ; and if you precede me, 
I shaU expect the like from you, which 
you may do without affrighting me, for 
I know your spirit will be a bonus genius. 
So desiring to know what is become of 
my manuscript, I kiss your hands, and 
rest most passionately your most faithful 
servitor. 

LETTER XXXVII. 

From James Howel, Esq. to Mr. William 
Blois. 

Fleet, 2()th March, 1647. 
My worthy esteemed nephew, 
I RECEIVED those rich nuptial favours 
you appointed me for bands and hats, 
which I wear with very much content- 
ment and respect, most heartily wishing 
that this late double condition may mul- 
tiply new blessings upon you, that it may 
usher in fair and golden days according 
to the colour and substance of your bridal 
ribband ; that those days may be per- 
fumed with delight and pleasure, as the 
rich scented gloves I wear for your sake. 
May such benedictions attend you both, 
as the epithalamiums of Stella in Statius, 
and Julia in Catullus, speak of. I hope 
also to be married shortly to a lady whom 
I have wooed above these five years, but 
I have found her coy and dainty hither- 



to ; yet I am now like to get her good- 
will in part, I mean the lady Liberty. 

When you see my N. Brownrigg, I 
pray tell him that I did not think Suffolk 
waters had such a Lethean quality in 
them, as to cause su.ch an amnestia in 
him of his friends here upon the Thames, 
among whom for reality and seriousness, 
I may match among the foremost ; but I 
impute it to some new task that his muse 
might haply impose upon him, which 
hath ingrossed all his speculations ; I pray 
present my cordial kind respects unto 
him. 

So praying that a thousand blessings 
may attend this confarreation, I rest, my 
dear nephew, yours most affectionately 
to love and serve you. 



LETTER XXXVIII. 

From the same to Henry Hopkins, Esq. 



Sir, 



Fleet, 1st January, 1646. 



To usher in again old Janus, I send you 
a parcel of Indian perfume which the 
Spaniards call the Holy Herb, in regard 
of the various virtues it hath, but we 
call it tobacco ; I will not say it grew 
under the king of Spain's window, but 
I am told it was gathered near his gold 
mines of Potosi (where they report that 
in some places there is more of that ore 
than earth), therefore it must needs be 
precious stuff : if moderately and season- 
ably taken (as I find you always do), it 
is good for many things ; it helps diges- 
tion taken awhile after meat, it makes 
one void rheum, break wind, and keeps 
the body open : a leaf or two being 
steeped over-night in a little white-wine 
is a vomit that never fails in its opera- 
tion : it is a good companion to one that 
converseth with dead men ; for if one 
hath been poring long upon a book, or 
is toiled with the pen, and stupified with 
study, it quickeneth him, and dispels 
those clouds that usually overset the 
brain. The smoke of it is one of the 
wholesomest scents that is, against all 
contagious airs, for it over-masters all 
other smells, as king James, they say, 
found true, when being once a-hunting, 
a shower of rain drove him into a pig- 
stye for shelter, where he caused a pipe- 
full to be taken on purpose : it cannot 
endure a spider, or a flea, with such-like 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



143 



vermin, and if your hawk be troubled 
with any such, being blown into his 
feathers, it frees him. Now to descend 
from the substance of the smoke, to the 
"ashes, it is well known that the medicinal 
virtues thereof are very many ; but they 
are so common, that 1 will spare the in- 
serting- of them here : but if one would 
try a petty conclusion, how much smoke 
there is in a pound of tobacco, the ashes 
will tell him ; for let a pound be exactly 
weighed, and the ashes kept charily and 
weighed afterwards, what wants of a 
pound weight in the ashes cannot be de- 
nied to have been smoke, which evapo- 
rated into air. I have been told that sir 
Walter Raleigh won a wager of queen 
Elizabeth upon this nicety. 

The Spaniards and Irish take it most 
in powder or smutchin, and it mightily 
refreshes the brain, and I believe there 
is as much taken this way in Ireland, as 
there is in pipes in England ; one shall 
commonly see the serving-maid upon 
the washing-block, and the swain upon 
the plough-share, when they are tired 
with labour, take out their boxes of 
smutchin, and draw it into their nostrils 
Avith a quill, and it will beget new spirits 
in them with a fresh vigour to fall to 
their work again. In Barbary and other 
parts of Afric, it is wonderful what a 
small piU of tobacco will do ; for those 
who use to ride post through the sandy 
desarts, where they meet not with any 
thing that's potable or edible, sometimes 
three days together, they use to carry 
small balls or pills of tobacco, which 
being put under the tongue, it affords 
them a perpetual moisture, and takes 
off the edge of the appetite for some 
4iays. 

If you desire to read with pleasure all 
the virtues of this modern herb, you 
must read Dr. Thorus's Psetologia, an 
accurate piece couched in a strenuous 
heroic verse, full of matter, and conti- 
nuing its strength from first to last; 
insomuch that for the bigness it may be 
compared to any piece of antiquity, and, 
in my opinion, is beyond Barpaxoy^uo- 
fj^oc^ioc, or TccKscoi^voy^a^lcc. 

So I conclude these rambling notions, 
presuming you will accept this small ar- 
gument of my great respect to you. If 
you want paper to light your pipe, this 
letter may serve the turn ; and if it be 
true, what the poets frequently sing, that 
^flfectiou is fire, you shall need no other 



than the clear flames of the donor's love 
to make ignition, which is comprehend- 
ed in this distich : 



Ignis Amorisjit, Tobaccum accendere nostrum f 
Nulla petenda iibifax nisi dantis amor. 



So I wish you, as to myself, a most 
happy new year ; may the beginning be 
good, the middle better, and the end 
best of all. Your most faithful and 
truly affectionate servitor. 



LETTER XXXIX. 



From the same to Mr, T. Morgan. 



Sir, 



May 12. 



I RECEIVED two of yours upon Tuesday 
last, one to your brother, the other to 
me ; but the superscriptions were mis- 
taken, which makes me think on that 
famous civilian doctor Dale, who being- 
employed to Flanders by queen Eliza- 
beth, sent in a packet to the secretary 
of state two letters, one to the queen, 
the other to his wife ; but that which was 
meant for the queen was superscribed, 
" To his dear Wife ;" and that for his 
wife, " To her most excellent Majesty :" 
so that the queen having opened his let- 
ter, she found it beginning with sweet- 
heart, and afterwards with my dear, 
and dear love, with such expressions, ac- 
quainting her with the state of his body, 
and that he began to want money. You 
may easily guess what motions of mirth 
this mistake raised ; but the doctor by this 
oversight (or cunningness rather) got a 
supply of money. This perchance may 
be your policy, to endorse me your bro- 
ther, thereby to endear me the more to 
you : but you needed not to have done 
that, for the name/r2>?z£/ goes sometimes 
further than brother ; and there be more 
examples of friends that did sacrifice their 
lives one for another, than of brothers ; 
which the writer doth think he should do 
for you, if the case required. But since 
I am fallen upon Dr. Dale, who was a 
witty kind of droll, I will tell you in- 
stead of news (for there is little good 
stirring now) two other facetious tales 
of his ; and familiar tales may become 
familiar letters well enough. When 
queen Elizabeth did first propose to him 
that foreign employment to Flanders, 



144 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book II. 



among other encouragements, she told 
him that he should have 20*. per diem 
for his expenses. " Then, madam," 
said he, "I will spend lOs. a-day." — 
*' What will you do with the odd shil- 
ling?" the queen replied. — " I will re- 
serve that for my Kate, and for Tom 
and Dick ; " meaning his wife and chil- 
dren. This induced the queen to en- 
large his allowance . But this that comes 
last is the best of all, and may he called 
the superlative of the three ; which was 
when at the overture of the treaty the 
other ambassadors came to propose in 
what language they should treat, the 
Spanish ambassador answered, that the 
French was the most proper, because 
his mistress entitled herself Queen of 
France ; " Nay then," said Dr. Dale, 
" let us treat in Hebrew, for your mas- 
ter calls himself King of Jerusalem." 

I performed the civilities you conjoin- 
ed me to your friends here, who return 
you the like centuplicated, and so doth 
your entire friend. 

LETTER XL. 

From James Jiowel, Esq. to the Right 
Honourable the Ladi/ E. D. 

April 8. 

Madam, 
There is a French saying, that courte- 
sies and favours are like flowers, which 
are sweet only while they are fresh, but 
afterwards they quickly fade and wither. 
I cannot deny but your favours to me 
might be compared to some kind of 
flowers (and they would make a thick 
posie), but they should be to the flower 
called life everlasting; or that pretty 
vermilion flower which grows at the 
foot of the mountain ^tna in Sicily, 
which never loses any thing of its first 
colour and scent. Those favours you 
did me thirty years ago, in the life-time 
of your incomparable brother Mr. R. 
Altham (who left us in the flower of his 
age), methinks are as fresh to me as if 
they were done yesterday. 

Nor were it any danger to compare 
courtesies done to me to other flowers, 
as I use them ; for I distil them in the 
limbec of my memory, and so turn them 
to essences. 

But, madam, I honour you not so 
much for favours, as for that precious 
brood of virtues, which shine in you with 
that brightness, but especially for those 



high motions whereby your soul soars 
up so often towards heaven ; insomuch, 
madam, that if it were safe to call any 
mortal a saint, you should have that title 
from me, and I would be one of your 
chiefest votaries J howsoever, I may with- 
out any superstition subscribe myself 
your truly devoted servant. 

LETTER XLL 

From the same to the Lord Marquis of 
Hartford, 

My Lord, 
I RECEIVED your lordship's of the 11th 
current, with the commands it carried, 
whereof 1 shall give an account in my 
next. Foreign parts aflFord not much 
matter of intelligence, it being now the 
dead of winter, and the season unfit for 
action. But we need not go abroad for 
news, there is store enough at home. 
We see daily mighty things, and they 
are marvellous in our eyes ; but the 
greatest marvel is, that nothing should 
now be marvelled at; for we are so 
habituated to wonders, that they are 
grown familiar unto us. 

Poor England may be said to be like 
a ship tossed up and down the surges of 
a turbulent sea, having lost her old 
pilot ; and God knows when she can get 
into safe harbour again : yet doubtless 
this tempest, according to the usual ope- 
rations of nature, and the succession of 
mundane effects by contrary agents, will 
turn at last into a calm, though many 
who are yet in their nonage may not 
live to see it. Your lordship knows that 
the >coVjU,of, this fair frame of the uni- 
verse, came out of a chaos, an indigest- 
ed lump ; and that this elementary world 
was made of millions of ingredients re- 
pugnant to themselves in nature ; and 
the whole is still preserved by the reluc- 
tancy and restless combatings of these 
principles. We see how the shipwright 
doth make use of knee-timber and other 
cross-grained pieces, as well as of straight 
and even, for framing a goodly vessel to 
ride on Neptune's back. The printer 
useth many contrary characters in his 
art to put forth a fair volume : as c? is a 
p reversed, and w is a w turned upward, 
with other differing letters, which yet 
concur all to the perfection of the whole 
work. There go many various and dis- 
sonant tones to make an harmonious 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, O F E A R L Y DATE. 



145 



concert. This put me in mind of an 
excellent passage which a noble specu- 
lative knight (sir P. Herbert) hath in his 
late Conceptions to his son ; how a holy 
anchorite being in a wilderness, among 
other contemplations he fell to admire 
the method of Providence ; how out of 
causes which seem bad to us he pro- 
duceth oftentimes good effects ; how he 
suffers virtuous, loyal, and religious men 
to be oppressed, and others to prosper. 
x\s he was transported with these ideas, 
a goodly young man appeared to him, 
and told him, " Father, I know your 
thoughts are distracted, and I am sent 
to quiet them ; therefore if you will ac- 
company me a few days, you shall re- 
turn very weU satisfied of those doubts 
that now encumber your mind." So 
going along with him, they were to pass 
over a deep river, whereon there was a 
narrow bridge : and meeting there with 
another passenger, the young man jos- 
tled him into the water, and so drowned 
him. The old anchorite being much as- 
tonished hereat, would have left him ; 
but his guide said, " Father, be not 
amazed, because I shall give you good 
reasons for what Ido, and you shall see 
stranger things than this before you and 
I part; but at last I shall settle your 
judgment, and put your mind in full 
repose." So going that night to lodge 
in an inn where there was a crew of 
banditti and debauched ruffians, the 
young man struck into their company, 
and rebelled with them tiU the morning, 
wliile the anchorite spent most of the 
night in numbering his beads : but as 
soon as they were departed thence, they 
met with some officers who went to ap- 
prehend that crew of banditti they had 
left behind them. The next day they 
came to a gentleman's house, which was 
a faL*" palace, where they received all the 
courteous hospitality which could be : 
but in the morning as they parted there 
was a child in a cradle, which was the 
only son of the gentleman; and the 
young man, spying his opportunity, 
strangled the child, and so got away. 
The third day they came to another inn, 
where the man of the house treated 
them with all the civility that could be, 
and gratis ; yet the young man embez- 
zled a silver goblet, and carried it away 
in his pocket ; which stiU increased the 
amazement of the anchorite. Tlie fourth 



day in the evening they came to lodge at 
another inn, where the host was very 
sullen and uncivil to them, exacting 
much more than the value of what they 
had spent ; yet at parting the young man 
bestowed upon him the silver goblet he 
had stolen from that host who had used 
them so kindly. The fifth day they made 
towards a great rich town ; but some 
miles before they came at it, they met 
with a merchant at the close of the day, 
who had a great charge of money about 
him ; and asking the next passage to the 
town, the young man put him in a clean 
contrary way. The anchorite and his 
guide being come to the town, at the 
gate they spied a devil, who lay as it 
were sentinel, but he was asleep : they 
found also both men and women at sun- 
dry kinds of sports, some dancing, others 
singing, with divers sorts of re veilings. 
They went afterwards to a convent of 
Capuchins, where about the gate they 
found legions of devils lying siege to 
that monastery ; yet they got in and 
lodged there that night. Being awaked 
the next morning, the young man came 
to that cell where the anchorite was 
lodged, and told him, " I know your 
heart is full of horror, and your head 
full of confusion, astonishments, and 
doubts, for what you have seen since 
the first time of our association. But 
know, I am an angel sent from heaven 
to rectify your judgment, as also to cor- 
rect a little your curiosity in the re- 
searches of the ways and acts of Provi- 
dence too far ; for though separately 
they seem strange to the shallow ap- 
prehension of man, yet conjunctly they 
all tend to produce good effects. 

" That man which I tumbled into the 
river was an act of Providence ; for he 
was going upon a most mischievous de- 
sign, that would have damnified not only 
his own soul, but destroyed the party 
against whom it was intended ; there- 
fore I prevented it. 

" The cause why I conversed all night 
with that crew of rogues was also an 
act of Providence ; for they intended to 
go a-robbing all that night ; but I kept 
them there purposely till the next morn- 
ing, that the hand of justice might seize 
upon them. 

" Touching the kind host from whom 
I took the silver goblet, and the clown- 
ish or knavish host to whom I gave it 
L 



14« 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book II. 



let this demonstrate to you, that good 
men are liable to crosses and losses, 
whereof bad men oftentimes reap the 
benefit ; but it commonly produceth 
patience in the one, and pride in the 
other. 

" Concerning that noble gentleman, 
whose child I strangled after so cour- 
teous entertainment, know, that that 
alyo was an act of Providence ; for the 
gentleman was so indulgent and doting 
on that child, that it lessened his love to 
Heaven ; so I took away the cause. 

" Touching the merchant whom I 
misguided in his way, it was likewise 
an act of Providence ; for had he gone 
the direct way to this town, he had been 
robbed, and his throat cut ; therefore I 
preserved him by that deviation. 

*' Now, concerning this great luxu- 
rious city, whereas we spied but one 
devil who lay asleep without the gate, 
there being so many about this poor 
convent, you must consider, that Luci- 
fer being already assured of that riotous 
town by corrupting their manners every 
day more and more, he needs but one 
single sentinel to secure it ; but for this 
holy place of retirement, this monastery 
inhabited by so many devout souls, who 
spend their whole lives in acts of morti- 
fication, as exercises of piety and pe- 
nance, he hath brought so many legions 
to beleaguer them ; yet he can do no 
good upon them, for they bear up against 
him most undauntedly, maugre all his 
infernal power and stratagems." So the 
young man, or divine messenger, sud- 
denly disappeared and vanished, yet leav- 
ing his fellow-traveller in good hands. 

My lord, I crave your pardon for this 
extravagancy, and the tediousness there- 
of ; but I hope the sublimity of the mat- 
terwillmake some compensation, which, 
if I am not deceived, will well suit with 
your genius ; for I know your contem- 
plations to be as high as your condition, 
and as much above the vulgar. This 
figurative story shews that the ways of 
Providence are inscrutable, his intention 
and method of operation not conforma- 
ble oftentimes to human judgment, the 
plummet and line whereof is infinitely 
too short to fathom the depth of his de- 
signs ; therefore let us acquiesce in an 
humble admiration, and with this con- 
fidence, that all things co-operate to the 
best at last, as they relate to his glory, 



and the general good of his creatures, 
though sometimes they appear to us by 
uncouth circumstances and cross me- 
diums. 

So in a due distance and posture of 
humility I kiss your lordship's hand, as 
being, my most highly honoured lord, 
your thrice obedient and obliged ser- 
vitor. 

LETTER XLII. 

From James Howel, Esq. to J. Suit on, Esq. 
London, 5th January. 
Sir, 
Whereas you desire my opinion of the 
late History translated by Mr. Wad, of . 
the Civil Wars of Spain, in the begin- i 
ning of Charles the Emperor's reign, I ^ 
cannot choose but tell you, that it is a 
faithful and pure maiden story, never 
blown upon before in any language but 
in Spanish, therefore very worthy your 
perusal ; for among those various kind 
of studies that your contemplative soul 
delights in, I hold history to be the most 
fitting to your quality. 

Now, among those sundry advantages 
which accrue to a reader of history, one 
is, that no modern accident can seem 
strange to him, much less astonish him. 
He will leave off wondering at anything, 
in regard he may remember to have read 
of the same, or much like the same, that 
happened in former times : therefore he 
doth not stand staring like a child at 
every unusual spectacle, like that simple 
American, who, the first time he saw a 
Spaniard on horseback, thought the man 
and beast to be but one creature, and 
that the horse did chew the rings of his 
bit, and eat them. 

Now, indeed, not to be an historian, 
that is, not to know what foreign na- 
tions and our forefathers did, hoc est 
semper esse puer, as Cicero hath it, *' This 
is still to be a child " who gazeth at every 
thing : whence may be inferred, there 
is no knowledge that ripeneth the judg- 
ment, and puts one out of his nonage, 
sooner than history. 

If I had not formerly read the Barons' 
wars in England, I had more admired 
that of the JLeaguers in France. He who 
had read th« near-upon fourscore years' 
wars in Low Germany, I believe, never 
wondered at the late thirty years' wars 
in High Germany. I had wondered 
more that Richard of Bourdeaux was 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



147 



knocked down with halberds, had I not 
read formerly that Edward of Carnar- 
von was made away by a hot iron thrust 
"lip his fundament. It was strange that 
Murat the great Ottoman emperor 
should be lately strangled in his own 
court at Constantinople ; yet, consider- 
ing that Osman the predecessor had been 
knocked down by one of these ordinary 
slaves not many years before, it was not 
strange at all. The blazing star in Vir- 
go thirty-four years since, did not seem 
strange to him who had read of that 
which appeared in Cassiopeia and other 
constellations some years before. Hence 
maybe inferred, that history is the great 
looking-glass through which we may be- 
hold with ancestral eyes, not only the 
various actions of ages past, and the odd 
accidents that attended time, but also 
discern the different humours of men, 
and feel the pulse of former times. 

This history will display the very in- 
trinsicals of the Castilian, who goes for 
the prime Spaniard ; and makes the opi- 
nion a paradox, which cries him up to 
be so constant to his principles, so loyal 
to his prince, and so conformable to go- 
vernment ; for it will discover as much 
levity and tumultuary passions in him as 
in otlier nations. 

Among divers other examples which 
could be produced out of this story, I 
will instance in one : When Juan de Pa- 
dillia, an infamous fellow, and of base 
extraction, was made general of the peo- 
ple, among others there was a priest, 
that being a great zealot for him, used 
to pray publicly in the church, " Let us 
pray for the whole Commonalty, and his 
majesty Don Juan de Padillia, and for 
the lady Donna Maria Pacheco his wife," 
&c. But a little after, some of Juan de 
PadiUia's soldiers having quartered in his 
house, and pitifully plundered him, the 
next Sunday the same priest said in the 
church, " Beloved Christians, you know 
how Juan de PadiUia passing this way, 
some of his brigade were billeted in my 
house : truly they have not left me one 
chicken ; they have drunk up a whole 
barrel of wine, devoured my bacon, and 
taken away my Catilina, my maid Kate : I 
charge you therefore pray no more for 
him." Divers such traverses as these 
may be read in that story ; which may 
be the reason why it was suppressed in 
Spain, that it should not cross the seas, 
or clamber over the Pyreneans to ac» 



quaint other nations with their foolery 
and baseness : yet Mr. Simon Digby, a 
gentleman of much worth, got a copy, 
which he brought over with him, out of 
which this translation is derived ; though 
I must tell you by the bye, that some 
passages were commanded to be omitted 
because they had too near an analogy 
with our times. 

So in a serious way of true friendship, 
I profess myself your most affectionate 
servitor. 



LETTER XLIII. 

From James Howel, Esq. to the Lord 
Marquis of Dorchester. 

Londoiij 15t!i August. 
My Lord, 
There is a sentence that carrieth a 
high sense with it, viz. Ingenia prin- 
cipumfata temporum, " The fancy of the 
prince is the fate of the times : " so in 
point of peace or war, oppression or jus- 
tice, virtue or vice, profaneness or devo- 
tion ; for regis ad exemplum. But there 
is another saying, which is as true, viz. 
Genius plebis est fatum principis, " The 
happiness of the prince depends upon 
the humour of the people." There can- 
not be a more pregnant example hereof, 
than in that successful and long-lived 
queen, queen Elizabeth, who having 
come, as it were, from the scaffold to 
the throne, enjoyed a wonderful calm 
(excepting some short gusts of insurrec- 
tion that happened in the beginning) for 
near upon forty-five years together. But 
this, my lord, may be imputed to the 
temper of the people, who had had a 
boisterous king not long before, with 
so many revolutions in religion, and a 
minor king afterward, which made them 
to be governed by their felloAv-subjects. 
And the fire and faggot being frequent 
among them in queen Mary's days, the 
humours of the common people were 
pretty well spent, and so were willing 
to conform to any government that 
might preserve them and their estates in 
quietness. Yet in the reign of that so 
popular and well-beloved queen there 
were many traverses, which trenched as 
much if not more upon the privileges of 
parliament, and the liberties of the peo- 
ple, than any that happened in the reign 
of the two last kings : vet it was not 
L 2 



148 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book. II. 



their fate to be so popular. Touching 
the first, viz. parliament ; in one of hers, 
there was a motion made in the House 
of Commons, that there should be a lec- 
ture in the morning- some days of the 
week before they sat, whereunto the 
House was very inclinable : the queen 
hearing of it, sent them a message, that 
she much wondered at their rashness, 
that they should offer to introduce such 
an innovation. 

Another parliament would have pro- 
posed ways for the regulation of her 
court ; but she sent them another such 
message, that she wondered, that, being 
called by her thither to consult of public 
affairs, they should intermeddle with the 
government of her ordinary family, and 
to think her to be so ill an housewife as 
not to be able to look to her own house 
herself. 

In another parliament there was a 
motion made, that the queen should 
entail the succession of the crown, and 
declare her next heir ; but Wentworth, 
who proposed it, was committed to the 
Tower, where he breathed his last ; and 
Bromley, upon a less occasion, was clap- 
ped in the Fleet. 

Another time, the House petitioning 
that the Lords might join in private 
committees with the Commoners, she ut- 
terly rejected it. You know how Stubbs 
and Page had their hands cut off with a 
butcher's knife and a mallet, because 
they writ against the match with the 
duke of Anjou ; and Penry was hanged 
at Tyburn, though Alured, who writ a 
bitter invective against the late Spanish 
match, was but confined for a .short 
time ; how sir Jolm Heywood was shut 
up in the Tower, for an epistle dedica- 
tory to the earl of Essex, &c. 

Touching her favourites, what a mon- 
ster of a man was Leicester, who first 
brought the art of poisoning into Eng- 
land? Add hereunto, that privy-seals 
were common in her days, and pressing 
of men more frequent, especially for Ire- 
land, where they were sent in handfuls, 
rather to continue a war (by the cunning 
of the officers) than to conclude it. The 
three fleets she sent against the Spaniard 
did hardly make the benefit of the voy- 
ages to countervail the charge. How 
poorly did the English garrison quit Ha^ 
vre-de-grace ? and how were we bafiled 
for the arrears that were due to Eng- 
land (by article) for the forces sent into 



France? For buildings, with aU kind 
of braveries else that use to make a na- 
tion happy, as riches and commerce, in- 
ward and outward, it was not the twen- 
tieth part so much in the best of her 
days (as appears by the Custom-house 
books) as it was in the reign of her suc- 
cessors. 

Touching the religion of the court, 
she seldom came to sermon but in Lent- 
time, nor did there use to be any sermon 
upon Sundays, unless they were festivals ; 
whereas the succeeding kings had duly 
two every morning, one for the house- 
hold, the other for themselves, where 
they were always present, as also at pri- 
vate prayers in the closet : yet it was not 
their fortune to gain so much upon the 
affections of city or country. There- 
fore, my lord, the felicity of queen Eli- 
zabeth may be much imputed to the 
rare temper and moderation of men's 
minds in those days ; for the purse of 
the common people, and Londoners, did 
beat nothing so high as it did afterwards, 
when they grew pampered with so long 
peace and plenty. Add hereunto, that 
neither Hans, Jocky, or John Calvin, 
had taken such footing here as they did 
get afterwards, whose humour is to 
pry and peep with a kind of malice 
into the carriage of the court and 
mysteries of state, as also to malign 
nobility, with the wealth and solemnities 
of the church. 

My lord, it is far from my meaning 
hereby to let drop the least aspersion 
upon the tomb of that rare renowned 
queen ; but it is only to observe the 
differing temper both of time and peo- 
ple. The fame of some princes is like 
the rose, which, as we find by experi- 
ence, smells sweeter after it is plucked : 
the memory of others is like the tulip 
and poppy, which make a gay show, and 
fair flourish, while they stand upon the 
stalk, but being cut down they give an 
ill-favoured scent. It was the happi- 
ness of that great long-lived queen to 
cast a pleasing odour among her people, 
both while she stood, and after she was 
cut off by the common stroke of morta- 
lity ; and the older the world grows, the 
fresher her fame will be. Yet she is lit- 
tle beholden to any foreign writers, un- 
less it be the Hollanders ; and good rea- 
son they had to speak well of her, for 
she was the chiefest instrument, who, 
though with the expense of much Eng- 



Sect. 11. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



149 



lish blood and bullion, raised them to a 
republic, by casting- tliat fatal bone for 
the Spaniard to gnaw upon, which shook 
his teeth so ill-favouredly for fourscore 
years together. Other writers speak 
bitterly of her for her carriage to her 
sister the queen of Scots ; for her ingra- 
titude to her brother Philip of Spain ; 
for giving advice, by her ambassador 
with the Great Turk, to expel the Je- 
suits, who had got a coUege in Peru : as 
also that her secretary Walsingham 
should project the poisoning of the wa- 
ters of Douay: and lastly, how she suf- 
fered the festival of the Nativity of the 
Virgin Mary in September to be turned 
to the celebration of her own birthday, 
&c. But these stains are cast upon her 
by her enemies ; and the aspersions of 
an enemy use to be like the dirt of oy- 
sters, which doth rather cleanse than 
contaminate. 

Thus, my lord, have I pointed at 
some remarks, to shew how various and 
discrepant the humours of a nation may 
be, and the genius of the times, from 
what it was ; which doubtless must pro- 
ceed from a high all-disposing power : a 
speculation that may become the greatest 
and knowingest spirits, among whom 
your lordship doth shine as a star of the 
first magnitude ; for your house may be 
called a true academy, and your head 
the capital of knowledge, or rather an 
exchequer, wherein there is a treasure 
enough to give pensions to all the wits 
of the time. With these thoughts I rest, 
my most highly honoured lord, your very 
obedient and ever obliged servant. 

LETTER XLIV. 

From James Howel, Esq. to Sir E. S. 



Londoii, 4th August. 



Sir, 



In the various courses of my wandering 
life, I have had occasion to spend some 
part of my time in literal correspond- 
ences with divers ; but I never remember 
that I pleased myself more in paying 
these civilities to any than to yourself ; 
for when I undertake this task, I find 
that my head, my hand, and my heart, 
go all so wiQing about it. The inven- 
tion of the one, the graphical office of 
the other, and the affections of the last, 
are so ready to obey me in performing 
the work ; work do I call it? It is rather 



a sport, my pen and paper are as a chess- 
board, or as your instruments of music 
are to you, when you would recreate 
your harmonious soul. Wlience this pro- 
ceeds I know not, unless it be from a 
charming kind of virtue that your letters 
carry with them to work upon my spi- 
rits, which are so full of facete and fa- 
miliar friendly strains, and so punctual 
in answering every part of mine, tli^t 
you may give the law of epistolizing to 
all mankind. 

Touching your poet laureat Skelton, I 
found him at last (as I told you before) 
skulking in Duck Lane, pitifully tattered 
and torn ; and, as these times are, I do 
not think it worth the labour and cost to 
put him in better clothes, for the genius 
of the age is quite another tiling : yet 
there be some lines of his, which I think 
wUl never be out of date for their quaint 
sense ; and with these I will close this 
letter, and salute you, as he did his 
friend, with these options : 

Salve plus decies quam sunt momenta diurna, 
2uot species ge7ierum, quot res, quot nomina rerum, 
2uot pratisjlores, qu&t sunt et in or he color es, 
2uot pisces, quot aves, quot sunt et in eequore naves, 
Quot valuer umpenncE, quot sunt tormenta gekenncey 
Quot cceli stellce, quot sunt miracula Thomce ; 
Quot sunt virtutes, tanlas tibi mitto salutes. 

These were the wishes in time of yore 
of Jo. Skelton, but now they are of 
your, &c. 

LETTER XLV. 

Froju the scmie to R. Davies, Esq. 



Sir 



London, 5th July. 



Did your letters know how truly wel- 
come they are to me, they would make 
more haste, and not loiter so long in 
the way ; for I did not receive yours of 
the 2d of June till the 1st of July; 
which is time enough to have travelled 
not only a hundred English, but so many 
Helvetian miles, that are five times big- 
ger ; for in some places they contain 
forty furlongs, whereas ours have but 
eight, unless it be in Wales, where they 
are allowed better measure, or in the 
north parts, where there is a wee bit to 
every mile. But that yours should be a 
whole month in making scarce 100 Eng- 
lish miles (for the distance between us 
is no more) is strange to me, unless you 
purposely sent it by John Long, the car- 
rier. I know, being so near Lemstcr's 



150 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



ore, that you dwell in a gentle soil, which 
is good for cheese as well as for cloth : 
therefore if you send me a good one, I 
shall return my cousin your wife some- 
thing from hence that may he equiva- 
lent : if you neglect me I shall think that 
Wales is relapsed into her first harha- 
risms ; for Strabo makes it one of his ar- 
guments to prove the Britons barbarous, 
because they had not the art of making 
cheese till the Romans came : but I be- 
lieve you will preserve them from this 
imputation again. 1 know you can want 
no good grass thereabouts, which, as 
they say here, grows so fast in some of 
your fields, that if one should put his 
horse there over night, he should not 
find him again the next morning. So 
with my very respectful commends to 
yourself, and to the partner of your 
couch and cares, I rest, my dear cousin, 
yours always to dispose of. 

LETTER XLVL 

From James Howel, Esq. to Mr. W. Price, 
at Oxon. 

London, 3d February. 
My precious nephew. 
There could hardly better news be 
brought to me, than to understand that 
you are so great a student, and that 
having passed through the briars of lo- 
gic, you fall so close to philosophy : yet 
I do not like your method in one thing, 
that you are so fond of new authors, and 
neglect the old, as I hear you do. It is 
the ungrateful genius of this age, that if 
any sciolist can find a hole in an old 
author's coat, he will endeavour to make 
it much more wide, thinking to make 
himself somebody thereby ; I am none 
of those ; but touching the ancients, I 
hold this to be a good moral rule, lau- 
dandum quod bene, ignoscendum quod ali' 
ier dixerunt: the older the author is, 
commonly the more solid he is, and the 
greater teller of truth. This makes me 
think on a Spanish captain, who being 
invited to a fish dinner, and coming 
late, he sat at the lower end of the ta- 
ble, where the small fish lay, the great 
ones being at the upper eiid ; thereupon 
he took one of the little fish, and held 
it to his ear ; his comrades asked him 
what he meant by that ; he answered in 
a sad tone, " Some thirty years since, 
my father, passing from Spain to Bar- 
bary, was cast away in a storm, and I 



am asking this little fish whether he 
could tell any tidings of his body ; he 
answers me, that he is too young to 
tell me any thing, but those old fish at 
your end of the table may say something 
to it :" so by that trick of drollery he 
got his share of them. The application 
is easy, therefore I advise you not to 
neglect old authors ; for though we be 
come as it were to the meridian of truth, 
yet there be many neoterical commen- 
tators and self-conceited writers, that 
eclipse her in many things, and go from 
obscurum to obscuris. 

Give me leave to tell you cousin, that 
your kindred and friends, with all the 
world besides, expect much from you in 
regard to the pregnancy of your spirit, 
and those advantages you have of others, 
being now at the source of all know- 
ledge. I waj told of a countryman, who 
coming to Oxford, and being at the 
town's end, stood listening to a flock of 
geese, and a few dogs that were hard 
by : being asked the reason, he answer- 
ed, " That he thought the geese about 
Oxford did gaggle Greek, and the dogs 
barked in Latin." If some in the world 
think so much of those irrational poor 
creatures, that take in University air, 
what will your friends in the country 
expect from you, who have the instru- 
ments of reason in such a perfection, 
and so well strung with a tenacious me- 
mory, a quick understanding, and rich 
invention ? all which I have discovered 
in you, and doubt not but you will em- 
ploy them to the comfort of your friends, 
your own credit, and the particular con- 
tentment of your truly affectionate uncle. 

LETTER XLVII. 

From the same to Mr. 11. Lee in Antwerp, 



London, 9th November. 



Sir, 



An acre of performance is worth the 
whole land of promise : besides, as the 
Italian hath it, " Deeds are men, and 
words women." You pleased to pro- 
mise me, when you shook hands with 
England, to barter letters with me ; but 
whereas I writ to you a good while since 
by Mr. Simons, I have not received a 
syllable from you ever since. 

The times here frown more and more 
upon the cavaliers, yet their minds are 
buoyed up still with strong hopes : some 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



151 



of them being lately in company of such 
whom the times favour, and reporting- 
some comfortable news on the royalists' 
side, one of the other answered, " Thus 
you cavaliers still fool yourselves, and 
build always castles in the air :" there- 
upon a sudden reply was made, " Where 
will you have us to build them else, for 
you have taken all our lands from us ?" 
I know what you will say when you read 
this : *' A pox on those true jests." 

This tale puts me in mind of another : 
There was a gentleman lately, who was 
offered by the parliament a parcel of 
church or crown lands, equal to his ar- 
rears ; and asking counsel of a friend of 
his which he should take, answered, 
*' Crown lands by all means ; for if you 
take them you run a hazard only to 
be hanged ; but if you take church land 
you are sure to be damned." Where- 
upon the other made him a shrewd re- 
ply : " Sir, I will tell you a tale : There 
was an old usurer not far from London, 
who had trained up a dog of his to bring 
his meat after him in a hand-basket, so 
that in time the shag dog was so well 
bred, that his master used to send him 
by himself to Smithfield shambles with 
a basket in his mouth, and a note in the 
bottom thereof to his butcher, who ac- 
cordingly would put in what joint of 
meat he writ for, and the dog would 
carry it handsomely home. It happened 
one day, that as the dog was carrying a 
good shoulder of mutton home to his 
master, he was set upon by a company 
of other huge dogs, who snatched away 
the basket, and fell to the mutton : the 
other dog measuring his own single 
strength, and finding he was too weak 
to redeem his master's mutton, said 
within himself (as we read the like of 
Chrysippus's dog), ' Nay, since there is 
no remedy, you shall be hanged before 
you have all ; I will have also my share :' 
and so fell a-eating amongst them. I 
need not," said he, " make the applica- 
tion to you, it is too obvious ; therefore, 
1 intend to have my share also of the 
church lands." 

In that large list of friends you have 
left behind you here, I am one who is 
very sensible that you have thus banish- 
ed yourself; it is the high will of Heaven 
that matters should be thus. Therefore, 
^uod divinitus accidit huiniliter, quod ab 
hominihus viriliter fcrendum ; "We must 
manfully bear what comes from men, 



and humbly what comes from above." 
The Pagan philosopher tells us, sluod 
divinitus contin<iit, homo a se nulla arte 
dispellet ; " There is no fence against 
that which comes from Heaven, whose 
decrees are irreversible." 

Your friends in Fleet-street are all 
well, both long coats and short coats, 
and 80 is your unalterable friend to love 
and serve you. 



LETTER XLVIII. 

From the same to Mr. T. C. at his house 
upon Toiver Hill. 

Sir, 
To inaugurate a good and jovial new 
year to you, I send you a morning's 
draught, viz. a bottle of metheglin. 
Neither sir John Barleycorn or Bacchus 
had any thing to do with it, but it is the 
pure juice of the bee, the laborious bee, 
and king of insects. The Druids and 
old British bards were wont to take a 
carouse hereof before they entered into 
their speculations ; and if you do so when 
your fancy labours with any thing, it 
will do you no hurt, and I know your 
fancy to be very good. 

But this drink always carries a kind 
of state with it, for it must be attended 
with a brown toast; nor will it admit 
but of one good draught, and that in the 
morning : if more, it will keep humming 
in the head, and so speak too much of 
the house it comes from, I mean the 
hive, as I gave a caution elsewhere ; and 
because the bottle might make more 
haste, I have made it go upon these 
poetic feet : — 

J. H. T. C. salutem, et annum Platonkum. 
Nfm vitisf sed apis succum tibi mi/to bihendum, 
2uem legimus burdos olim poiasse Bntnnnos. 
Qualibet in bacca vitis Megeru latescit, 
2ualibet in gulta melis Aglaia n'ltet. 

The juice of bees, not Bacchus, here hehold, 
Which British bards were wont to quaff of old j 
The berries of the grape with Furies s'vell, 
But in the honeycomb the Graces dwell. 

This alludes to a saying which the 
Turks have, " That there lurks a devil 
in every berry of the vine." So I wish 
you, as cordially as to myself, an auspi- 
cious and joyful new year, because you 
know I am your truly affectionate ser- 
vant. 



152 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book U, 



LETTER XLIX. 

Ladi/ RusseVs Letter to the King Charles II. 

{Indorsed by her : My letter to the king 
a few days after my dear lord's death.) 

May it please your Majesty, 
I FIND my husband's enemies are not ap- 
peased with his blood, and still continue 
to misrepresent him to your majesty. It 
is a great addition to my sorrows to hear 
your majesty is prevailed upon to be- 
lieve, that the paper he delivered to the 
sheriff at his death was not his own. I 
can truly say, and am ready in the so- 
lemnest manner to attest, that (during 
his imprisonment*) I often heard him 
discourse of the chiefest matters con- 
tained in that paper, in the same expres- 
sions he herein uses, as some of those 
few relations that were admitted to him 
can likewise aver. And sure it is an ar- 
gument of no great force, that there is 
a phrase or two in it another uses, when 
nothing is more common than to take 
up such words we like, or are accustom- 
ed to in our conversation. I beg leave 
further to avow to your majesty, that all 
that is set down in the paper read to your 
majesty on Sunday night, to be spoken 
in my presence, is exactly truef; as I 
doubt not but the rest of the paper is, 
which was written at my request, and 
the author of it in all his conversation 
with my husband, that I was privy to, 
shewed himself a loyal subject to your 
majesty, a faithful friend to him, and a 
most tender and conscientious minister 
to his soul. I do therefore humbly beg 
your majesty would be so charitable to 
believe, that he, who in all his life was 
observed to act with the greatest clear- 
ness and sincerity, would not at the 
point of death do so disingenuous and 
false a thing, as to deliver for his own 
what was not properly and expressly so. 
And if after the loss, in such a manner, 
of the best husband in the world, I were 
capable of any consolation, your majesty 
only could afford it by having better 
thought of him ; which when I was so 
importunate to speak with your majesty, 
I thought I had some reason to believe 

* The words included in the parenthesis are 
crossed out. 

f It contained an account of all that passed 
between Dr. Burnet and his lordship concern- 
ing his last speech and paper. It is called 
The Journal, in the History of his own Times, 
v<ol. i, p. 562. 



1 should have inclined you to, not from 
the credit of my word, but upon the evi- 
dence of what I had to say. I hope I 
have written nothing in this that will 
displease your majesty ; if I have, I hum- 
bly beg of you to consider it as coming 
from a woman amazed with grief; and 
that you will pardon the daughter of a 
person who served your majesty's father 
in his greatest extremities (and your ma- 
jesty in your greatest posts), and one that 
is not conscious of having ever done any 
thing to offend you (before). I shall 
ever pray for your majesty's long life and 
happy reign ; who am with all humility, 
may it please your majesty, &c. 

LETTER L. 

From the same to Dr. Fitzwilliam. 

31st January, 1684-5. 
You pursue, good doctor, all ways of 
promoting comfort to my afflicted mind, 
and will encourage me to think the bet- 
ter of myself for that better temper of 
mind you judge you found me in, when 
you so kindly gave me a week of your 
time in London. You are highly in the 
right, that as quick a sense of sharpness 
on the one hand, and tenderness on the 
other, can cause, I labour under, and 
shall, I believe, to the end of my life, so 
eminently unfortunate in the close of it. 

But I strive to reflect how large my 
portion of good things has been ; and 
though they are passed away no more to 
return, yet I have a pleasant work to do, 
dress up my soul for my desired change, 
and fit it for the converse of angels and 
the spirits of just men made perfect. 
Amongst whom my hope is my loved 
lord is one : and my often repeated 
prayer to my God is, that if I have a 
reasonable ground for that hope, it may 
give a refreshment to my poor soul. 

Do not press yourself, sir, too greatly 
in seeking my advantage, but when your 
papers do come, I expect and hope they 
will prove such. The accidents of every 
day tell us of what a tottering clay our 
bodies are made. Youth nor beauty, 
greatness nor wealth, can prop it up. 
If it could, the lady Ossory had not so 
early left this world ; she died (as an ex- 
press acquainted her father this morn- 
ing) on Sunday last, of a flux and mis- 
carrying. I heard also this day of a kins- 
man that is gone ; a few years ago I 
should have had a more concerned senbe. 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



153 



for sir Thomas Vernon*, his unfitness 
(as I doubt) I do lament indeed. 

Thus I treat you, as I am myself, with 
objects of mortification. But you want 
none such in your solitude ; and I , being 
unprovided of other, will leave you to 
your own thoughts, and ever continue, 
sir, your obliged servant. 

My neighbours and tenants are under 
some distress, being questioned about ac- 
counts, and several leaves found torn out 
of the books, so that Kingdome and 
Trant offered 40,000/. for atonement ; 
but having confessed two more were 
privy to this cutting out leaves, the king 
Avill have them discovered : till Monday 
they have time given them. You had 
given lady Julian one of those books. 



LETTER LL 

From the sa?ne to Dr. Fitzxvilliam. 

Southampton-hovise, 17th July, 1685. 
Never shaU I, good doctor, I hope, for- 
get your work (as I may term it) of la- 
bour and love ; so instructive and com- 
fortable do I find it, that at any time, 
when I have read any of your papers, I 
feel a heat within me to be repeating my 
thanks to you anew, which is all I can do 
towards the discharge of a debt you have 
engaged me in ; and though nobody loves 
more than I to stand free from engage- 
ments I cannot answer, yet I do not wish 
for it here, I would have it as it is, and 
although I have the present advantage, 
you will have the future reward : and if 
I can truly reap v/hat I know you design 
me by it, a religious and quiet submis- 
sion to all providences, I am assured you 

* Sir Thomas Vernon, on the jury against 
sir Samuel Barnardiston, knighted for his ser- 
vice in it, and then made foreman to convict 
Gates of perjury. Sir Sam. Barnardiston, 14th 
February, 1083-4, was fined 10,000/. for writ- 
ing some letters, in which he used these ex- 
pressions {inter alia): "The lord Howard ap- 
pears despicable in the eyes of all men. — The 
brave lord Russel is afresh lamented — It is ge- 
nerally said the earl of Essex was murdered — 
The plot is lost here — The duke of Monmouth 
said publicly, that he knew my lord Russel was 
as loyal subject as any in England, and that his 
majesty believed the same now — The printer 
of the late lord Russel's speech was passed 
over with silence — ^The sham protestant plot 
is quite lost and confounded, &c." He was 
committed for his fine to the King's Bench, 
continued prisoner four or five years, and 
great waste and destruction made ou his es- 
tate. 



will esteem to have attained it here in 
some measure. Never could you more 
seasonably have fed me with such dis- 
courses, and left me with expectations of 
new repasts, in a more seasonable time, 
than these my miserable months, and in 
those this very week in which I have 
lived over again that fatal day that de- 
termined what fell out a week after, and 
that has given me so long and so bitter 
a time of sorrow. But God has a com- 
pass in his providences that is out of our 
reach, and as he is all good and wise, 
that consideration should in reason 
slacken the fierce rages of grief. But 
sure, doctor, it is the nature of sorrow to 
lay hold on all things which give a new 
ferment to it ; then how could I choose 
but feel it in a time of so much confusion 
as these last weeks have been, closing so 
tragically as they have done ; and sure 
never any poor creature, for two whole 
years together, has had more awakers to 
quicken and revive the anguish of its soul 
than I have had : yet I hope I do most 
truly desire that nothing may be so bit- 
ter to me, as to think that I have in the 
least offended thee, O my God, and that 
nothing may be so marvellous in my eyes 
as the exceeding love of my Lord Jesus ; 
that heaven being my aim, and the long- 
ing expectations of my soul, I may go 
through honour and dishonour, good re- 
port and bad report, prosperity and ad- 
versity, with some evenness of mind. 
The inspiring me with these desires is, I 
hope, a token of his never-failing love 
towards me, though an unthankful crea- 
ture for all the good things I have en- 
joyed, and do still in the lives of hopeful 
children by so beloved a husband. God 
has restored me my little girl ; the sur- 
geon says she will do well. I should now 
hasten to give them the advantage of the 
country air, but am detained by the warn- 
ing to see my uncle Ruvigny here, who 
comes to me, so I know not how to quit 
my house till I have received him, at least 
into it ; he is upon his journey. 

My lady Gainsborough came to this 
town last night, and I doubt found nei- 
ther her own daughter nor lady Jane in 
a good condition of health. I had car- 
ried a surgeon on the day before to let 
my niece blood, by Dr. Loure's direction, 
who could not attend by reason my lord 
Radnor lay in extremity, and he was last 
night past hopes. My niece's complaint 
is a neglected cold, and he fears her to be 
bomething hectic, but I hope youth \Aill 



154 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



struggle and overcome : they are child- 
ren whose least concerns touch me to 
the quick ; their mother was a delicious 
friend; sure nobody has enjoyed more 
pleasure in the conversations and tender 
kindnesses of a husband and a sister than 
myself, yet, how apt am I to be fretful 
that I must not still do so I but I must 
follow that which seems to be the will 
of God, how unacceptable soever it may 
be to me, 1 must stop, for if I let my 
pen run on, I know not where it will 
end. I am, good doctor, with great 
faithfulness, your affectionate friend to 
serve you. 



LETTER LIL 

From Lad J/ Russel to Dr. Fitzijoilliam. 

Woborne Abbey, £7th Nov. 1 G85. 
As you profess, good doctor, to take 
pleasure in your writings to me, from the 
testimony of a conscience to forward my 
spiritual welfare, so do 1 to receive them 
as one to me of your friendship in both 
worldly and spiritual concernments ; do- 
ing so, I need not waste my time nor 
yours to tell you they are very valuable 
to me. That you are so contented to 
read mine I make the just allowance 
for: not for the worthiness of them, I 
know it cannot be, but however, it ena- 
bles me to keep up an advantageous con- 
versation without scruple of being too 
troublesome. You say something some- 
times, by which I should think you sea- 
soned or rather tainted with being so 
much where compliment or praising is 
best learned ; but I conclude, that often 
what one heartily wishes to be in a friend, 
one is apt to believe is so. The effect is 
not nought towards me, whom it ani- 
mates to have a true not false title to the 
least virtue you are disposed to attribute 
to me. Yet I am far from such a vigour 
of mind as surmounts the secret discon- 
tent so hard a destiny as mine has fixed 
in my breast ; but there are times the 
mind can hardly feel displeasure, as while 
such friendly conversation entertaineth 
it ; then a grateful sense moves one to 
express the courtesy. 

If I could contemplate the conducts 
of providence with the uses you do, it 
would give ease indeed, and no disas- 
trous events should much affect us. The 
new scenes of each day make mc often 



conclude myself very void of temper and 
reason, that I still shed tears of sorrow 
and not of joy, that so good a man is 
landed safe on the happy shore of a 
blessed eternity ; doubtless he is at rest, 
though I find none without him, so true 
a partner he was in all my joys and 
griefs ; I trust the Almighty will pass by 
this my infirmity ; I speak it in respect 
to the world, from whose enticing de- 
lights I can now be better weaned. I 
was too rich in possessions whilst I pos- 
sessed him : all relish is now gone, I bless 
God for it, and pray, and ask of all good 
people (do it for me from such you know 
are so) also to pray that I may more and 
more turn the stream of my affections up- 
wards, and set my heart upon the ever- 
satisfying perfections of God ; not start- 
ing at his darkest providences, but re- 
membering continually either his glory, 
justice, or power, is advanced by every 
one of them, and that mercy is over all 
his works, as we shall one day with ra- 
vishing delight see : in the mean time, I 
endeavour to suppress all wild imagina- 
tions a melancholy fancy is apt to let in ; 
and say with the man in the Gospel, " I 
believe, help thou my unbelief." 

If any thing I say suggest to you mat- 
ter for a pious reflection, I have not hurt 
you but ease myself, by letting loose some 
of my crowded thoughts. I must not 
finish without telling you, I have not the 
book you mention of Seraphical Medita- 
tions of the bishop of Bath and Wells*, 
and should willingly see one here, since 
you design the present. I have sent you 
the last sheet of your papers, as the surest 
course ; you can return it with the book. 
You would, sir, have been welcome to 
lord Bedford, who expresses himself 
hugely obliged to the bishop of Ely f, your 
friend ; to whom you justly give the title 
of good, if the character he has very ge- 
nerally belongs to him. And who is good 
is happy ; for he is only truly miserable, 
or wretchedly so, that has no joy here, 
nor hopes for any hereafter. I believe 
it may be near Christmas before my lord 
Bedford removes for the winter, but I 
have not yet discoursed him about it, nor 
how long he desires our company ; so 



* Kenn, bishop' of Bath and Wells, of an 
ascetic course of life, and yet of a very lively 
temper. 

f Turner, bishop of Ely, sincere and good- 
natured, of too quick imagination, and too de- 
fective a judgment. 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



155 



whether I will come before him, or make 
one company, I know not ; he shall please 
himself, for I have no will in these mat- 
ters, nor can like one thing- or way bet- 
ter than another, if the use and conveni- 
encies be alike to the young creatures, 
whose service is all the business I have 
in this world ; and for their good I in- 
tend all diligence in the power of, sir, 
your obliged friend to serve you. 

I am mightily in arrear ; pray let me 
know what, and if I shall direct the pay- 
ing it, or stay till I see you. 



LETTER LIII. 

Dr, Tillotson to Lady HusseL 

[From Birch's Life of Tillotson.] 

Canterbury, Ncv. '21, 1685. 

Honoured madam, 
When I look back upon the date of 
your ladyship's letter, I blush to see it 
hath lain by me so long unanswered. 
And yet I assure you no day passeth, in 
which your ladyship and your children 
are not in my mind. But I know not 
how, in the hurry I am in, in London, 
one business presseth so hard upon an- 
other, that I have less time for the things 
to which I have most inclination. I am 
now for a while got out of the torment 
and noise of that great city, and do en- 
joy a little more repose. 

It was a great trouble to me to hear of 
the sad loss your dear friend sustained 
during his short stay in England*. But 
in some circumstances, to die is to live. 
And that voice from heaven runs much 
in my mind, which St. John heard in his 
vision of the last (as I think) and most 
extreme persecution, which should befal 
the faithful servants of God, before the 
final downfal of Babylon, " Blessed are 
the dead that die in the Lord from 
henceforth ;" meaning, that they were 
happy, who were taken away before that 
terrible and utmost trial of the faith and 
patience of the saints. But however that 
be, I do greatly rejoice in the preser- 
vation of your children from the great 
danger they were in upon that occasion, 
and thank God heartily for it, because, 

* The death of her cousin, niece of Mens. 
Ruvigny. 



whatever becomes of us, I hope they 
may live to see better things. 

Just now came the news of the pro- 
rogation of the parliament to the 10th 
of February, which was surprising to us. 
We are not without hopes, that in the 
mean time things will be disposed to a 
better agreement against the next meet- 
ing. But when all is done, our greatest 
comfort must be, that we are all in the 
hands of God, and that he hath the care 
of us. And do not think, madam, that 
he loves you the less for having put so 
bitter a cup into your hand. He, whom 
he loved infinitely best of all mankind, 
drank much deeper of it. 

I did hope to have waited upon my 
lord of Bedford at my return to Lon- 
don ; but now I doubt this prorogation 
will carry him into the country before 
that time. I intreat you to present my 
most humble service to his lordship, to 
dear little master, and the young ladies. 
I am not worthy the consideration you 
are pleased to have of me ; but I pray 
continually for you all, and ever shall 
be, madam, your ladyship's most faith- 
ful and humble servant. 



LETTER LIV. 

Lady Russcl to Dr. Fiizwilliam. 

15th January^ 1685-6. 
I PRESUME, doctor, you are now so set- 
tled in your retirement (for such it is in 
comparison of that you can obtain at 
London) that you are at leisure to peruse 
the inclosed papers ; hereafter I will 
send them once a week, or oftener if 
you desire it. 

Yesterday the lord Delamere passed 
his trial, and was acquitted*. I do bless 
God that he has caused some stop to the 
effusion of blood has been shed of late 
in this poor land. But, doctor, as dis- 
eased bodies turn the best nourishments, 
and even cordials, into the same sour hu- 
mour that consumes and eats them up, 
just so do I. When I should rejoice with 
them that do rejoice, I seek a corner to 

f Henry Booth, lord Delamere, tried for 
partaking in Monmouth's rebellion. Finch, 
solicitor-general, was very violent against 
him ; but Saxon, the only positive evidence, 
appearing peijured, he was acquitted by his 
peers. He afterwards strenuously promoted 
the Revolution; in 1690 was created earl of 
Warrington; and died 1693. 



156 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



weep in. I find! am capable of no more 
gladness ; but every new circumstance, 
the very comparing my night of sorrow 
after such a day, with theirs of joy, does, 
from a reflection of one kind or other, 
rack my uneasy mind. Though I am 
far from wishing the close of theirs like 
mine, yet I cannot refi-ain giving some 
time to lament mine was not like theirs ; 
but I certainly took too much delight in 
my lot, and would too willingly have 
built my tabernacle here ; for which I 
hope my punishment will end with 
life. 

The accounts from France are more 
and more astonishing ; the perfecting the 
work is vigorously pursued, and by this 
time completed it is thought ; all with- 
out exception having a day given them ; 
only these I am going to mention have 
found so much grace as I will tell you. 
The countess du Roy* is permitted 
with two daughters to go within fourteen 
days to her husband, who is in Denmark, 
in that king's service ; but five other of 
her children are put into monasteries, 
Mareschal Schombergf and his wife are 
commanded to be prisoners in their house, 
in some remote part of France appointed 
them. My uncle and his wife are per- 
mitted to come out of France. This I 
was told for a truth last night, but I hope 
it needs a confirmation. 

It is enough to sink the strongest heart 
to read the relations are sent over. How 
the children are torn from their mothers 
and sent into monasteries ; their mothers 
to another : the husband to prison, or 
the gallies. These are amazing provi- 
dences, doctor ! God out of infinite 
mercy strengthen weak believers. I am 
too melancholy an intelligencer to be 

* Countess du Roy, wife of Frederic Charles 
du Roy, knight of the Elephant, and general- 
issimo to the king of Denmark ; his daugliter, 
Henrietta, was the second wife of William 
Wentworth, earl of Strafford. 

f Frederic deSchomberg, marshal of Franco 
was created by king William, duke Schomberg, 
&c. 1689, killed at" the battle of the Boyne, 1st 
July, 1690. He was son of count Schomberg, 
by lord Dudley's daughter. The count was 
killed, with several sons, at the battle of 
Prague, 1620. The duke was a man of great 
calmness, application, and conduct; of true 
judgment, exact probity, and an humble oblig- 
ing temper. The persecution of the Protes- 
tants induced him to leave France and enter 
into king William's service. He was 82 years 
old at his death. His son Charles was mortally 
wounded at the battle of Marsiglia, 24th Sept. 
169.3. 



very long, sowUl hasten to conclude, first 
telling you lord Talbot | is come out of 
Ireland, and brought husbands for his 
daughters-in-law ; one was married on 
Tuesday to a lord Roffe, the other lord 
is Dungan; WalgTave that married the 
king's daughter is made a lord§. The 
brief for the poor Protestants was not 
sealed an Wednesday, as was hoped it 
would be : the chancellor bid it be laid 
by when it was offered him to seal. 1 
am very really, doctor, your affectionate 
friend and servant. 

LETTER LV. 

Lady Russel to Dr. Fitzwillia?n, 

22d January, 1685-6. 
I HAVE received and read your letters, 
good doctor. As you never fail of per- 
forming a just part to your friend, so 
it were pity you should not consider 
enough to act the same to yourself. I 
think you do : and all you say, that con- 
cerns your private affairs, is justly and 
wisely weighed ; so let that rest. I ac- 
knowledge the same of the distinct paper 
which touches more nearly my sore ; per- 
haps I ought to do it with some shame 
and confusion of face ; and perhaps 1 do 
so, doctor, but my weakness is invin- 
cible, which makes me, as you phrase it, 
excellently possess past calamities : but 
he who took upon him our nature, felt 
our infirmities, and does pity us ; and I 
shall receive of his fulness at the end of 
days, which I will silently wait for. 

If you have heard of the dismal acci- 
dent in this neighbourhood, you will 
easily believe Tuesday night was not a 
quiet one with us. About one o'clock in 
the night I heard a great noise in the 
square, so little ordinary, I called up a 
servant and sent her down to learn the 
occasion. She brought up a very sad one, 
that Montague house was on fire ; and 
it was so indeed ; it burnt with so great 
violence, the whole house was consumed 
by five o'clock. The wind blew strong 
this way, so that we lay under fire a great 
part of the time, the sparks and flames 
continually covering the house, and fill- 

X Lord Richard Talbot, afterwards earl of 
Tyrconnel, a papist. 

§ Henry lord Waldgrave of Chewton mar- 
ried the lady Henrietta Fitz-James, natural 
daughter to king James II. by Arabella Church- 
ill, sister to John Duke of Marlborough ; he 
retired to France in 1689, and died at Paris 
the same ygar. 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



157 



ing" the court. My boy awaked, and said 
lie was almost stifled with smoke, but, 
being told the reason, would see it, and 
so was satisfied without fear ; took a 
strange bed-fellow very mllingly, lady 
Devonshire's youngest boy, whom his 
nurse had brought wrapt in a blanket. 
Lady Devonshire * came towards morn- 
ing and lay here ; and had done so still, 
but for a second ill accident : Her bro- 
ther, lord x^rranf, who has been iU of a 
fever twelve days, was despaired of yes- 
terday morning, and spots appeared, so 
she resolved to see him, and not to re- 
turn hither, but to Somerset house, 
where the queen offered her lodgings. 
He is said to be dead, and I hear this 
morning it is a great blow to the famUy : 
and that he was a most dutiful son and 
kind friend to all his family. 

Thus we see what a day brings forth ! 
and how momentary the things we set 
our hearts upon ! O I could heartily cry 
out, " When will longed-for eternity 
come ! " but our duty is to possess our 
souls with patience. 

I am unwilling to shake off all hopes 
about the brief, though I know them 
that went to the chancellor:!: since the 
refusal to seal it, and his answer does 
not encourage one's hopes. But he is not 
a lover of smooth language, so in that 
respect we may not so soon despair §. 

I fancy I saw the young man you men- 
tioned to be about my son. One brought 
me six prayer books as from you ; also 
distributed three or four in the house. I 
sent for him and asked him if there was 
no mistake ? He said, No. And after 
some other questions I concluded him the 
same person. Doctor, I do assure you I 
put an entire trust in your sincerity to ad- 
vise ; but, as I told you, I shall ever take 

* Mary, daughter to James Butler, duke of 
Ormond ; married to William Cavendish, earl, 
afterwards duke, of Devonshire. 

f He died January 26, 1685-6. 

X George lord Jefferies, baron of Wem, very 
inveterate against lord Russel : He was, says 
Burnet, scandalously vicious, drunk every day, 
and furiously passionate, and, when lord chief 
justice, he even betrayed the decencies of his 
post, by not affecting to appear impartial, as 
became a judge, and by running upon all oc- 
casions into noisy declamations. He died in 
the Tower, April 18, 1G89. 

§ Dr. afterwards bishop Beveridge, objected 
to the reading the brief in the cathedral of 
Canterbury, as contrary to the rubric. Tillot- 
son replied, " Doctor, doctor, Charity is above 
rubrics." 



lord Bedford along in all the concerns 
of the child. He thinks it early yet to 
put him to learn in earnest ; so do you, I 
believe. My lord is afraid, if we take 
one for it, he will put him to it ; yet I 
think perhaps to overcome my lord in 
that, and assui'e him he shall not be 
pressed. But I am much advised, and 
indeed inclined, if I could be fitted to 
my mind, to take a Frenchman, so I 
shall do a charity, and profit the child 
also, who shall learn French. Here are 
many scholars come over, as are of all' 
kinds, God knows. 

- 1 have still a charge with me, lady 
Devonshire's daughter, who is just come 
into my chamber ; so must break off. I 
am, sir, truly your faithful servant. 

The young lady teUs me lord Arran 
is not dead, but rather better. 

LETTER LVI. 

Dean Tillotson to Lady Rtissel. 

Honoured madam, 
I RECEIVED both your letters ; and be- 
fore the latter came to my hands, I 
gave your ladyship some kind of answer 
to the first, as the time would let me, for 
the post staid for it. But having now a 
little more leisure, you will, I hope, give 
me leave to trouble you with a longer 
letter. 

I was not at Hampton Court last Sun- 
day, being almost tired out with ten weeks 
attendance, so that I have had no oppor- 
tunity to try further in the business I 
wrote of in my last, but hope to bring it 
to some issue the next opportunity I can 
get to speak with the king. I am sorry 
to see in Mr. Johnson || so broad a mix- 

|] In a paper to justify lord RussePs opinion, 
" Tliat resistance may be used in case our reli- 
gion and rights should be invaded," as an an- 
swer to the dean's letter to his lordship of 20th 
July 1683, Johnson observes, that this opinion 
could not be wrested from his lordship at his 
death, notwithstanding the disadvantages at 
which he was taken, when he was practised up- 
on to retract that opinion, and to bequeath a 
legacy of slavery to his country ; and indeed 
the dean was so apprehensive of lady RussePs 
displeasure at his pressing his lordship, though 
with the best intentions, upon that subject, that 
when he was first admitted to her after her 
lord's death, he is said to have addressed her iu 
this manner, " That he first thanked God, and 
then her ladyship, for that opportunity of justi- 
fying himself to her:" and they soon returned 
to the terms of a cordial and unreserved friend- 
ship. Mr. Johnson wrote Julian the Apostate 
to prove the legality of resistance, and an ad- 
dress to king James lid's army; he was fined. 



Us 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book 11. 



ture of human frailty, with so consider- 
able virtues. But when I look into my- 
self, I must think it pretty well, when 
any man's infirmities are in any measure 
overbalanced by his better qualities. 
This good man I am speaking of has at 
some times not used me over well ; for 
which I do not only forgive him, when I 
consider for whose sake he did it, but 
do heartily love him. 

The king, besides his first bounty to 
Mr. Walker *, whose modesty is equal 
to his merit, hath made him bishop of 
Londonderry, one of the best bishoprics 
in Ireland ; that so he may receive the 
reward of that great service in the place 
where he did it. It is incredible how 
much every body is pleased with what 
the king hath done in this matter, and 
it is no small joy to me to see that God 
directs him to do so wisely. 

I will now give your ladyship a short 
account of his majesty's disposal of our 
English Church preferments, which I 
think he has done as well as could be ex- 
pected, in the midst of the powerful im- 
portunities of so many great men, in 
whom I discern too much of court art 
and contrivance for the preferment of 
their friends ; yea, even in my good lord 
Nottingham, more than I could wish. 
This is a melancholy consideration to one 
in my situation, in which I do not see 

imprisoned, pilloried, and whipt, after being 
degraded. The Revolution restored him to his 
liberty; the judgment against him in 1686 was 
declared illegal and cruel, and his degrada- 
tion null ; and the House of Lords recom- 
mended him to king William. He died 1703. 
He refused the rich deanery of Durham. 

* Mr. Geo. Walker, justly famous for his de- 
fence of Londonderry, in Ireland (when Lunde 
the governor would have surrendered it to king 
James the lid), was born of English parents in 
the county of Tyrone in that kingdom, and edu- 
cated in the university of Glasgow in Scotland ; 
he was afterwards rector of Donoughmore, not 
many miles from the city of Londonderry. 
Upon the Revolution, he raised a regiment for 
the defence of the Protestants; and upon in- 
telligence of king James having a design to be- 
siege Londonderry, retired thither, being atlast 
chosen governor of it. After the raising of that 
siege, he came to England, where he was most 
graciously received by their majesties ; and on 
the 19th of Nov. 1689, received the thanks of 
the House of Commons, having just before pub- 
lished an account of that siege, and a present of 
5000/. He was created D.D. by the University 
of Oxford on the 26th Feb. 1689-90, in his re- 
turn to Ireland, where he was killed the begin- 
ning of July 1690, at the passage of the Boyne, 
having resolved to serve that campaign before 
he. took possession of his bishopric. 



how it is possible so to manage a man's 
self between civUity and sincerity, be- 
tween being willing to give good words to 
all, and able to do good to very few, as 
to hold out an honest man, or even the 
reputation of being so, a year to an end. 

I promised a short account, but I am 
long before I come to it. The dean of 
St. Paul's t, the bishop of Worcester ; 
the dean of Peterborough J, of Chi- 
chester. An humble servant of yours, 
dean of St. Paul's. The dean of Nor- 
wich § is dean of Canterbury ; and Dr. 
Stanley, clerk of his majesty's closet, is 
residentiary of St. Paul's ; and Dr. Fair- 
fax, dean of Norwich. The warden of 
All Souls II in Oxford, is prebendary of 
Canterbury ; and Mr. Nixon hath the 
other prebend there, void by the death 
of Dr. Jeffreys. These two last merited 
of the king in the West : Mr. Finch by 
going in early to him, and Mr. Nixon, 
who is my lord of Bath's chaplain, by 
carrying messages between the king and 
my lord of Bath, as the king himself 
told me, with the hazard of his life. St. 
Andrew's and Covent Garden are not yet 
disposed. Dr. Birch (which I had al- 
most forgot) is prebendary of Westmin- 
ster : and, which grieves me much, 
Mons. AUix put by at present ; but my 
lord privy seal^ would not be denied. 
The whole is as well as could easily be 
in the present circumstances. 

But now begins my trouble. After I 
had kissed the king's hand for the dean- 
ery of St. Paul's, I gave his majesty my 
most humble thanks, and told him, that 
now he had set me at ease for the remain- 
der of my life. He replied ; " No such 
matter, I assure you ;" and spoke plainly 
about a great place, which I dread to 
think of, and said. It was necessary for 
his service, and he must charge it upon 
my conscience." Just as he had said 
this, he was called to supper, and I had 
only time to say, that when his majesty 
was at leisure, I did believe I could satis- 
fy him that it would be most for his ser- 
vice that I should continue in the station 
in which he had now placed me. This 
hath brought me into a real difficulty. 
For on the one hand it is hard to decline 
his majesty's commands, and much 



f Dr. Stillingfleet. 
§ Dr. John Sharp. 



+ Dr. St. Patrick. 



II Leopard Wm. Finch, fifth son of Heneage, 
carl of Winchelsea. 

^ Marquis of Halifax. 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



150 



harder yet to stand out against so much 
goodness as his majesty is pleased to use 
towards me. On the other, I can neither 
bring my inclination nor my judgment to 
it. This I owe to the bishop of Salis- 
bury, one of the worst and best friends I 
know ; best, for his singular good opi- 
nion of me ; and the worst, for directing 
the king to this method, which I know 
he did ; as if his lordship and I had 
concerted the matter how to finish this 
foolish piece of dissimulation, in running 
away from a bishopric* to catch an 
archbishopric. This fine device hath 
thrown me so far into the briars, that, 
without his majesty's great goodness, I 
shall never get oflF without a scratched 
face. And now I will tell your lady- 
ship the bottom of ray heart. I have of 
a long time, I thank God for it, devoted 
myself to the public service without any 
regard for myself; and to that end have 
done the best I could in the best manner 
I was able. Of late God hath been 
pleased by very severe waysf, but in 
great goodness to me, to wean me per- 
fectly from the love of this world ; so 
that worldly greatness is now not only 
undesirable, but distasteftil to me. And 
I do verily believe, that I shall be able to 
do as much or more good in my present 
station than in a higher, and shall not 
have one jot less interest or influence 
upon any others to any good purpose ; 
for the people naturally love a man that 
will take great pains and little prefer- 
ment. But, on the other hand, if I 

* Tillotson wrote before to a nobleman (sup- 
posed the earl of Portland) begging he might 
be excused from accepting a bishopric. Birch 
remarks, instances of this kind of self-denial 
will perhaps be thought rare in any age; but 
there was a remarkable one under Henry the 
Fighth of another dean of Canterbu.y, well 
known by his embassies and public negocia- 
tions, Dr. Nicholas Wotton, great uncle of sir 
Henry Wotton ; this great politician, as well as 
divine, being informed of an intention to ad- 
vance him to the mitre, wrote to doctor Bellasis 
from Dusseldorp, Nov. 11th, 1539, requesting 
him, for the passion of God, to convey that 
bishopric from him. So I might (addshe) avoid 
it without displeasure, I would surely never 
meddle with it: there be enough that be meet 
for it, and will not refuse it. I cannot marvel 
enough, cur ohtrudatur non cupienti immo ne 
idoneo quidem. My mind is as troubled as my 
writing is. Yours to his little power, Nicholas 
Wotton; add whatsoever you will more to it, if 
you add not Bishop. 

f The loss of his children, and having been 
seized with an apoplectic disorder. 



could force my inclination to take this 
great place, I foresee that I should sink 
under it, and gTow melancholy and good 
for nothing, and after a little while die 
as a fool dies. 

But this, madam, is a great deal too 
much, upon one of the worst and nicest 
subjects in the world— a man's self. 

As I was finishing this long letter, 
which if your goodness wiU forgive I 
hope never to have occasion to try it so 
far again, I received your letter, and shall 
say no more of Dr. More, of whose preach- 
ing I always knew your ladyship's opi- 
nion. The person I mentioned was 
Mr. Kidder, on whom the king has be- 
stowed the deanery of Peterborough, and 
therefore cannot have it. I am fully of 
your ladyship's opinion, that what my 
lord Bedford does in this matter must 
not appear to be done by him, for fear of 
bringing other importunities upon the 
king. If my lord thinks well of Dr. 
Horneck, Dr. More would then cer- 
tainly have St. Andrew's. 

I thank God for the health your fa- 
mily enjoys, as for that of my own ; and 
equally pray for the continuance of it, 
and all other blessings. I would fain find 
room to tender my humble service to my 
lord Bedford, my lord Russel, and two 
of the best young ladies I know. I am, 
honoured madam, more than I can ex- 
press, your most obliged and obedient 
servant. 

LETTER LVII. 

Ladi/ Russel to the dean of St. Paul's. 

September, 1689. 
Whenever, Mr. Dean, you are disposed, 
and at leisure to give it me, I can be 
well content, I assure you, to read the 
longest letter you can write. But I had 
not so soon told you a truth you cannot 
choose but know, if this paper was not 
to be hastened to you with a little 
errand that I am well enough pleased to 
be employed in ; because the eff*ect will 
be good, though the cause does not 
please me ; being you said Mr. Kidder X 
cannot have Covent Garden, because he 
is dean of Peterborough (though I do 
not conceive why, unless it is because he 
is great and others are not). But lord 

X Rd. Kidder, afterwards bishop of Bath and 
Wells (in Kenn's stead, 1691), was killed with 
his lady at Wells, by the fall of a stack of chim- 
neys during the high wind, 27th Nov. 1703. 



160 



ELEGANT EPI>STLES. 



Book II. 



Bedford leans strongly to offer Mm to the 
king : it is from what you said to me has 
made him do so. Yet if you judge he 
should not now be the man, I am en- 
joined to obtain from you some charac- 
ter of one Mr. Freeman*, and Mr. 
Williams t : the last I have heard you 
speak well of, but I did not heed his just 
character. What you think fit to say to 
me shall not be imparted but in general 
terms, if you like that best ; though 
lord Bedford is as close as can be de- 
sired, and as well inclined as possible to 
do the best, and will have me say some- 
thing of these men before he fixes, which 
my lord Shrewsbury advises him to do 
quickly. 

More X he is averse to ; Horneck § 
the parish is also, as he is well informed, 
to a high degree. So Kidder, Williams, 
and Freeman are before him. I desire 
two or three lines upon this subject, by 
the first post if you please. 

Though my paper is full enough, espe- 
cially to a man that has no more spare 
time than you have, yet I must just 
touch upon some other parts of your let- 
ter, being they touch me most sensibly. 
I bless God that inclines the heart of our 
king to do well ; it looks as if God 
meant a full mercy to these long threat- 
ened kingdoms. I thank Mr. Dean very 
heartily for those thoughts that influence 
and heighten his charity to Mr. J — — n. 
I wiU not say that I do more, but you 
must needs know. Mr. Dean, now a 
few words to your own concern, that 
bears so heavy upon your mind, and I 
have done. I know not if I should use 
the phrase, " Integrity is my idol," but 
1 am sure I admire and love it hugely 
wherever I meet it. I would never have 
a sincere passion crossed. I do pity you, 
Mr. Dean, and think you have a hard 
game upon your hands, which, if it 
should happen you cannot play off your 
own way, you can do "better than a 
man less mortified to the world could ; 
being if you serve the interest of religion 
and the king's, you are doing what you 
have dedicated yourself to, and therefore 

* Dr. Freeman died dean of Peterborough, 
1707. 

f Williams, afterwards bishop of Chiches- 
ter, died 1709. 

X More died bishop of Ely, 1714. 

§ Horneck died prebendary of Westnii aster, 
1 696-7. 



can be more regardless of the ignorant 
or wicked censurer ; for, upon my word, 
I believe you will incur no other : your 
character is above it, if what you fear 
should come upon you. But as I con- 
ceive there are six months yet to delibe- 
rate upon this matter, you know the old 
saying, " Many things fall out between 
the cup and the lip : " and pray do not 
fill your head with the fears of a trouble, 
though never so great, that is at a dis- 
tance, and may never be ; for if you 
think too much on a matter you dread, 
it will certainly disturb your quiet, and 
that wiU infallibly your health, and you 
cannot but see, sir, that would be of a 
bad consequence. The king is willing 
to hear you. You know your own heart 
to do good, and you have lived some 
time, and have had experience. You 
say well that such an one is the best and 
worst friend. I think I should have had 
more tenderness to the will or temper of 
my friend : and for his justification, one 
may say, he |)refers good to many, be- 
fore gratifying one single person, and a 
public good ought to carry a man a great 
way. But I see your judgment (if your 
inclination does not bias too far) is hear- 
tily against him in this matter, that you 
think you cannot do so much good then 
as now. We must see if you can con- 
vince him thereof ; and when he is mas- 
ter of that notion, then let him labour to 
make your way out of those briars he 
has done his part to bring you into ; 
though something else would have done 
it without him, I believe, if I am not 
mistaken in this, no more than I am that 
this letter is much too long, from, &c. 

LETTER LVIII. 

Dean Tillotson to Lady Russel. 

Edmonton, Sept. 24, 1681>. 
Hon. madam, 
Just now I received your ladyship's let- 
ter. Since my last, and not before, I 
understand the great averseness of the 
parish from Dr. Horneck : so that if my 
lord of Bedford had liked him, I could 
not have thought it fit, knowing how ne- 
cessary it is to the good effect of a man's 
ministry, that he do not lie under any 
great prejudice with the people. The 
two, whom the bishop of Chichester hath 
named, are, I think, of the worthiest of 
the city ministers, since Mr. Kidder de- 
clines it, for the reason given by the bi- 



Sect. IL 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



161 



shop, and, if he did not, could not have 
it ; not because of any inconsistency in 
the preferments, but because the king, 
having so many obligations yet to an- 
swer, cannot at the same time give two 
such preferments to one man. For the 
persons mentioned, if comparison must 
be made between two very good men, 
I will tell your ladyship my free thoughts 
of them. 

Mr. Williams is really one of the best 
men I know, and most unwearied in do- 
ing good, and his preaching very weighty 
and judicious. The other is a truly 
pious man, and of a winning conversa- 
tion. He preaches well, and hath much 
the more plausible delivery, and, I think, 
a stronger voice. Both of them (which 
I had almost forgot) have been steady in 
all changes of times. This is the plain 
truth ; and yet I must not conceal one 
particular and present advantage on Dr. 
Freeman's side. On Sunday night last 
the king asked me concerning a city mi- 
nister, whose name he had forgot ; but 
said, he had a very kind remembrance 
of him, having had much conversation 
with him, when his majesty was very 
young in Holland, and wondered he had 
never seen him since he came into Eng- 
land. 

I could not imagine who he should be, 
till his majesty told me he was the Eng- 
li^i ambassador's chaplain above twenty 
years ago ; meaning sir William Tem- 
ple's. Upon that I knew it was Dr. 
Freeman. The king said, that was his 
name, and desired me to find him out, 
and tell him that he had not forgot him, 
but remembered with pleasure the ac- 
quaintance he had with him many years 
ago ; and had charged me, when there 
was an opportunity, to put him in mind 
of him. This I thought both great 
goodness in the king, and modesty in 
Dr. Freeman* never to shew himself to 
the king all this while. By this your 
ladyship will judge who is like to be 
most acceptable to the king, whose sa- 
tisfaction, as well as service, I am obliged 
to regard, especially in the disposal of 
his own preferments, though Mr. Wil- 
liams be much more my friend. 

1 mentioned Mr. Johnson again, but 
his majestj put on other discourse, and 
my lord privy seal told me yesterday 
morning, that the king thought it a little 

* Dr. Freeman was instituted to the rectory 
of Covtnt Garden; Dec. 28, 1689. 



hard to give pensions out of his purse, 
instead of church preferments ; and tells 
me Mr. Johnson is very sharp upon me. 
His lordship called it railing, but it shall 
not move me in the least. His lordship 
asked me, whether it would not be well 
to move the king to give him a good 
bishopric in Ireland, there being several 
void. I thought it very well, if it would 
be acceptable. His lordship said, that 
was all one ; the oifer would stop many 
mouths as well as his ; which, I think, 
was well considered. 

I will say no more of myself, but only 
thank your ladyship for your good ad- 
vice, which I have always a great dispo- 
tion to follow, and a great deal of rea- 
son, being assured it is sincere as well as 
wise. The king hath set upon me again, 
with greater earnestness of persuasion 
than is fit for one that may command. 
I begged as earnestly to be considered in 
this thing, and so we parted upon good 
terms. I hope something will happen to 
hinder it. I put it out of my mind as 
much as I can, and leave it to the good 
providence of God for the thing to find 
its own issue. To that I commend you 
and yours, and am, madam, yours, by 
all possible obligations. 

If Mr. Johnson refuse this offei*, and it 
should be my hard fortune not to be 
able to get out of this difficulty, which I 
will, if it be possible to do it without 
provocation, I know one that will do 
more for Mr. Johnson than was desired 
of the king, but still as from the king, 
for any thing that he shall know. But 
I hope some much better way will be 
found, and that there will be neither oc- 
casion nor opportunity for thisf. 



LETTER LIX. 

Lady Russel to hady Sunderland. 

I THINK I understand almost less than 
any body, yet I knew better things than 
to be weary of receiving what is so good 
as my lady Sunderland's letters ; or not 
to have a due regard of what is so valu- 
able as her esteem and kindness, with 
her promises to enjoy it my whole life. 
Truly, madam, I can find no fault but 

* The king granted Johnson 300^. a'yearfor 
his own and his son's life, with U)()0^. in iijoney, 
and a place of IdO/. a year for his son. 

"M 



162 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



one, and that is constantly in all the fa- 
vours you direct to me, an unfortunate 
useless creature in the world, yet your 
ladyship owns me as one had been of 
some service to you. Alas ! I know I 
was not, but my intention was pure ; I 
pitied your sorrow, I was hearty in wish- 
ing- you ease, and if I had an occasion 
for it, I could be diligent, but no further 
ability ; and you are very good to re- 
ceive it kindly. But so unhappy a soli- 
citor as I was once for my poor self and 
family, my heart misgives me when I 
aim at any thing of that kind any more. 
Yet I hope I have at last learned to make 
the will of God, when declared, the rule 
of my content, and to thank him for all 
the hard things 1 suffer, as the best as- 
surances of a large share in that other 
blessed state ; and if what is dear to us 
is got thither before us, the sense what 
they enjoy, and we in a little while shall 
with them, ought to support us and our 
friends. 

LETTER LX. 

Lady Russel to Dr. Fitzwilliam. 

Woborne Abbey, 28th August, 1690. 
1 ASSURE you, good doctor, I was very 
weU pleased this evening to receive ano- 
ther letter from you ; and much more 
than ordinary, because your last had 
some gentle hints in it, as if you thought 
1 had taken some offence, though you 
kindly again said you could not, or 
would not, imagine it, not being con- 
scious of omission or commission, and in- 
deed you have good reason for saying so ; 
I will at any time justify you in it, and 
do more commend your belief, that I 
either had not your letters, or was not 
well, than I could your mistrust of me 
for what will never liappen. But an old 
dated paper has convinced you, and a 
newer had, if I had known where to 
have found you ; for in yours of the 5th 
of August you intimate that you meant 
(if it did not too much offend the eyes 
of a friend of mine that were weak) to 
make a stay at Windsor of ten days 
longer, and made no mention then whi- 
ther you went. Now truly I had that 
letter, when I was obliged to write much 
to such as would congratulate my being 
well again, some in kindness, and some 
in ceremony. But so it was, that when 
I went to write, I found I should not 



know where to send it, so I deferred it 
tiU I had learnt that. I sent to JNIrs. 
Smith, she could not tell ; I bid John 
send to Richard at Straton to know if 
you were at Chilton, for I know lady 
Gainsborough was not there then, but 
now you have informed me yourself. 

By report I fear poor lady Gainsbo- 
rough is in neAv trouble, for though she 
has all the help of religion to support her, 
yet that does not shut us out fiom all 
sorrow ; it does not direct us to insensi- 
bility, if we could command it, but to a 
quiet submission to The will of God, 
making his ours as much as we can : in- 
deed, doctor, you are extremely in the 
right to think that my life has been so 
embittered, it is now a very poor thing 
to me ; yet I find myself careful enough 
of it. I think I am useful to my chil- 
dren, and would endure hard things, to 
do for them till they can do for them- 
selves ; but, alas ! I am apt to conclude 
if I had not that, yet I should still find 
out some reason to be content to live, 
though I am weary of every thing, and 
of the folly, the vanity, the madness of 
man most of all. 

There is a shrinking from the separa- 
tion of the soul from the body, that is 
implanted in our natures, which enforces 
us to conserve life ; and it is a wise pro- 
vidence ; for who would else endure 
much evil, that is not taught the great 
advantages of patient suffering ? I am 
heartily sorry, good doctor, that you 
are not exempt, which I am sure you are 
not, when you cannot exercise your care 
as formerly among your flock at Coten- 
ham^'. But 1 will not enlarge on this 
matter, nor any other at this time. That 
I might be certain not to omit this re- 
spect to you, I have begun with it, and 
have many behind, to which 1 must 
hasten, but first desire you wiU present 
my most humble service to my lady ; I 
had done myself the honour to write to 
her, just as I believe she was wTiting to 
me, but 1 Mill thank her yet for that fa- 
vour ; either trouble, or the pleasure of 
her son's settlement, engrosses her, I 
apprehend, at this time, and business I 
know is an attendant of the last. I am, 
sir, your constant friend and servant. 

* Ejected as a nonjuror. 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



163 



LETTER LXI. 

Dean Tillotson to Lady RusseL 

Edmonton, Oct. D, 1690. 

Hon. madam, 
Since I had the honour of your letter, 
I was tempted to have troubled you 
with one of mine upon the sad occasion 
of your late great loss of two so near re- 
lations, and so near together^. But I 
considered, why should I pretend to be 
able either to instruct or comfort my lady 
Russel, who hath borne things much 
more grievous with so exemplary a meek- 
ness and submission to the will of God, 
and knows, as well as I can tell her, that 
there is no remedy in these cases but pa- 
tience, nor any comfort but in the hopes 
of the happy meeting of our deceased 
friends in a better life, in which sorrow 
and tears shall have no more place to all 
eternity ! 

And BOW I crave leave to impart 
something of my own trouble to your 
ladyship. On Sunday last the king 
commanded me to wait upon him the 
next morning at Kensington. I did so, 
and met with what I feared. His ma- 
jesty renewed his former grasious oflTer, 
in so pressing a manner, and with so 
much kindness, that I hardly knew how 
to resist it. I made the best acknow- 
ledgments I could of his undeserved 
grace and favour to me, and begged of 
him to consider aU the consequences of 
this matter, being well assured, that all 
that storm which was raised in convoca- 
tion the last year by those who v»^ill be 
the Church of England was upon my ac- 
count, and that the bishop of L ■ 

was at the bottom of it, out of a jealousy 
that I might be a hindrance to him in at- 
taining what he desires, and what, I call 
God to witness, I would not have. And 
I told his majesty, that I was still afraid 
that his kindness to me would be greatly 
to his prejudice, especially if he carried 
it so far as he was then pleased to speak. 
For I plainly saw they could not bear it ; 
and that the effects of envy and ill-will 
towards me would terminate upon him. 
To which he replied, that if the thing 
were once done, and they saw no remedy, 
they would give over, and think of making 
the best of it ; and therefore he must de- 

* The death of her sister, the countess of 
Montague, and of her nephew, Wriothesley 
Baptist, earl of Gainsborough. 



sire me to think seriously of it ; with 
other expressions not fit for me to re- 
peat. To all which I answered, that in 
obedience to his majesty's commands I 
would consider of it again, though I was 
afraid I had already thought more of it 
than had done me good, and must 
break through one of the greatest reso- 
lutions of my life, and sacrifice at once 
all the ease and contentment of it ; 
which yet I would force myself to do, 
were I really convinced that I was in any 
measure capable of doing his majesty 
and the public that service which he was 
pleased to think I was. He smiled and 
said, " You talk of trouble ; I believe you 
will have much more ease in it than in 
the condition in which you now are." 
Thinking not fit to say more, I humbly 
took leave. 

And now, madam, what shall I do? 
My thoughts were never at such a plunge. 
I know not how to bring my mind to it ; 
and, on the other hand, though the com^ 
parison is very unequal, when I remem- 
ber how I saw the king affected in the 
case of my lord Shrewsbury f, I find 
myself in great strait, and would not for 
all the world give him the like trouble. 
I pray God to direct me to that which 
he sees and knows to be best, for I know 
not what to do. I hope I shall have your 
prayers, and would be glad of your ad 
vice, if the king would spare me so long. 
I pray God to preserve you and yours. 
I am, honoured madam, &c. 



LETTER LXII. 

Lady Russel to the Dean of St. PauVs. 

About the middle of October, 1690. 
Your letters will never trouble me, 
Mr. Dean ; on the contrary, they are 
comfortable refreshments to my, for the 
most part, orer-burdened mind, which, 
both by nature and by accident, is made 
so weak, that I cannot bear, with that 
constancy I should, the losses I have 
lately felt ; I can say. Friends and ac- 
quaintances thou hast hid out of my 
sight ; but I hope it shall not disturb my 
peace. These Avere young, and as they 
had begun their race of life after me, so 
I desired they might have ended it also. 

-f- When the earl resigned the post of secre- 
tary of state, about 1690; to divert him from 
which, dean Tillotson had been sent to his 
lordship bv the kins?^. 

M2 



164 



FLEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book II. 



But liPtppy are those whom God retires 
in his grace ; 1 trust these were so ; and 
then no age can be amiss ; to the young 
it is not too early, nor to the aged too 
late. Submission and prayer is all we 
know that we can do towards our own 
relief in our distress, or to disarm God's 
anger, either in our public and private 
concerns. The scene will soon alter to 
that peaceful and eternal home in pro- 
spect. But in this time of our pilgrimage, 
vicissitudes of all sorts is every one's lot. 
And this leads me to your case, sir. 

The time seems to be come that you 
must put anew in practice that submis- 
sion * you have so powerfully both tried 
yourself, and instructed others to. I see 
no place to escape at ; you must take up 
the cross and bear it : I faithfully be- 
lieve it has the figure of a very heavy 
one to you, though not from the cares of 
it ; since, if the king guesses right, you 
toil more now. But this work is of your 
own choosing, and the dignity of the 
other is v/hat you have bent your mind 
against, and the strong resolve of your 
life has been to avoid it. Had this even 
proceeded to a vow, it is, I think, like 
the virgins of old, to be dissolved by the 
father of your country. Again, though 
contemplation, and a few friends well 
chosen, would be your grateful choice, 
yet, if charity, obedience, and necessity, 
call you into the great world, and where 
enemies compass round about, must not 
you accept it? And each of these, in 
my mean apprehension, determines you 
to do it. In short, it will be a noble 
sacrifice you will make ; and I am con- 
fident you will find as a reward, kind 
and tender supports, if you do take the 
burthen upon you : there is, as it were, 
a commanding Providence in the man- 
ner of it. Perhaps I do as sincerely wish 
your thoughts at ease as any friend you 
have, but I think you may purchase 
that too dear ; and if you should come 
to think so too, they would then be as 
restless as before. 

Sir, I believe you would be as much a 
common good as you can : consider how 
few of ability and integrity this age pro- 
duces.^ Pray do not turn this matter too 
much in your head ; when one has once 

* Submission alludes to Tillotson's letter to 
lord Russel against resistance: — a shrewd hint 
of the dean's endeavours to persuade lord 
Kussel to snbnnit to the doctrine of passive 
obrdienre. 



turned it everyway, you know that more 
does but perplex, and one never sees the 
clearer for it. Be not stiff, if it be s4;in 
urged to you. Conform to the Divine 
Will, which has set it so strongly into the 
other's mind, and be content to endure ; 
it is God calls you to it. I believe it 
was wisely said, that when there is no re- 
medy they will give over, and make the 
best of it, and so I hope no ill will ter- 
minate on the king : and they will lay 
up their arrows, when they perceive 
they are shot in vain at him or you, up- 
on whom no reflection that I can think 
of can be made that is ingenious ; and 
what is pure malice you are above be- 
ing affected with. 

I wish, for many reasons, my prayers 
were more worthy ; but such as they are, 
I offer them witli a sincere zeal to the 
Throne of Grace for you, in this strait, 
that you may be led out of it, as shall 
best serve the great ends and designs of 
God's glory. 



LETTER LXIII. 



Ladi/ Russel to 



{supposed the 



Bishop of Snlishury). 

lOLh October, 1690, 
I HAVE, my lord, so upright an heart 
to my friends, that though your great 
weight of business had forced you to a 
silence of this kind, yet I should have 
had no doubt, but that one I so distin- 
guish in that little number God has left 
me, does join with me to lament my 
late losses : the one was a just, sincere 
man, and the only son of a sister and a 
friend I loved with too much passion ; 
the other my last sister, and I ever loved 
her tenderly. 

It pleases me to think that she deserves 
to be remembered by all those who knew 
her. But after above forty years ac- 
quaintance with so amiable a creature, 
one must needs, in reflecting, bring to 
remembrance so many engaging endear- 
ments as are yet at present imbittering 
and painful ; and indeed we may be sure, 
that when any thing below God is the 
object of our love, at one time or an- 
other it will be matter of our sorrow. 
But a little time will put me again into 
my settled state of mourning; for a 
mourner I must be all my days upon 
earth, and there is no need I should be 
other. My glass runs low. The world 



Sect. II, 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



165 



does not v/aiit me, nor I want that : my 
business is at home, and within a narrow 
compass. I must not deny, as there was 
something so glorious in the object of my 
biggest sorrow, I believe that, in some 
measure, kept me from being then over- 
whelmed. So now it affords me, toge- 
ther with the remembrance how many 
easy years we lived together, thoughts 
that are joy enough for one who looks 
no higher than a quiet submission to her 
lot ; and such pleasures in educating my 
young- folks as surmount the cares that it 
^vill afford. If I shall be spared the trial, 
where I have most thought of being pre- 
pared to bear the pain, I hope I shall be 
thankful, and I think I ask it faithfully, 
that it may be in mercy not in judgment. 
Let me rather be tortured here, than 
they or I be rejected in that other bless- 
ed peaceful home to all ages, to which 
my soul aspires. Tliere is something in 
the younger going before me, that I have 
observed all my life to give a sense I can- 
not describe ; it is harder to be borne 
than a bigger loss, where there has 
been spun out a longer thread of life. 
Yet I see no cause for it, for every day 
we see the young fall with the old : but 
methinks it is a violence upon nature. 

A troubled mind has a multitude of 
these thoughts. Yet I hope I master all 
murmurings : if I have had any, I am 
sorry, and will have no more, assisted by 
Ood's grace ; and rest satisfied, that 
whatever I think, I shall one day be en- 
tirely satisfied what God has done and 
shall do will be best, and justify both 
his justice and mercy. I meant this as 
a very short epistle : but you have been 
some years acquainted with my infirmi- 
ty, and have endured it, though you 
never had waste time, I believe, in your 
life ; and better times do not, I hope, 
make your patience less. However, it 
will become me to put an end to this, 
which I will do, signing myself cordially 
your, &c. 

LETTER LXIV. 

Lady Russel io Lord Cavendish. 

29th October, 1690- 
Though I know my letters do lord 
Cavendish no service, yet, as a respect I 
love to pay him, and to thank him also 
for his last from Ivimbeck, I had not 
been so long silent, if the death of two 



persons both very near and dear to me 
had not made me so uncomfortable to 
myself, that I knew I was utterly unfit 
to converse where I would never be ill 
company. The separation of friends is 
grievous. My sister Montague was one 
I loved tenderly ; my lord Gainsborough 
was the only son of a sister I loved with 
too much passion : they both deserved to 
be remembered kindly by all that knew 
them. They both began their race long 
after me, and I hoped should have ended 
it so too ; but the great and wise Dis- 
poser of all things, and who knows 
where it is best to place his creatures, 
either in this or in the other world, has 
ordered it otherwise. The best improve- 
ment we can make in these cases, and 
you, my dear lord, rather than I, whose 
glass runs low, while you are young, and 
I hope have many happy years to come, 
is, I say, that we should all reflect there 
is no passing through this to a better 
world without some crosses, and the 
scene sometimes shifts so fast, our course 
of life may be ended before we think 
we have gone half way ; and that an 
happy eternity depends on our spending- 
well or ill that time allotted us here for 
probation. 

Live virtuously, my lord, and you 
cannot die too soon, nor live too long. I 
hope the last shall be your lot, with 
many blessings attending it. Your, &c. 

LETTER LXV. 

Archbishop Tihlotson to Lady Russel. 

June 23, 1691*. 

Honoured madam, 
I RECEIVED your ladyship's letter, to- 
gether with that to Mr. Fox, which I 
shall return to him on Wednesday morn- 
ing, when I have desired Mr. Kemp to 
send him to me. 

I entreat you to give my very humble 
service to my lord of Bedford, and to let 
his lordship know how far I have been 
concerned in this affair. I had notice 
first from Mr. Attorney-general and Mr. 

Solicitor, and then from my lord , 

that several persons, upon the account of 
publishing and dispersing several libels 
against me, were secured in order to pro- 
secution. Upon which I went to wait 
upon them severally, and earnestly de- 

* From his drausht in short-hand. 



166 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book 11. 



sired of them, that nobody mi^ht be 
punished upon my account : that this was 
not the first time I had experience of this 
kind of malice, which, how unpleasant 
soever to me, I thought it the wisest way 
to neglect, and the best to forgive it*. 
None of them said any thing to me of 
my lord Russel, nor did it ever come 
into my thought to hinder any prosecu' 
tion upon his account, whose reputation, 
I can truly say, is much dearer to me 
than mine own ; and I was much more 
troubled at the barbarous usage done to 
his memory, and especially since they 
have aggravated it by dispersing more 
copies ; and, as I find by the letter to 
Mr. Fox, are supported in their insolence 
by a strong combination, I cannot but 
think it very fit for my lord Bedford to 
bring them to condign punishment. 

Twice last week I had my pen in my 
hand to have provoked you to a letter ; 
and that I might once in my life have 
been beforehand with you in this way of 
kindness. I was both times hindered by 
the breaking in of company upon me. 
The errand of it would have been to 
have told you, that whether it be from 
stupidity, or from a present astonishment 
at the danger of my condition, or from 
some other cause, I find, that I bear the 
burden I dreaded so much a good deal 
better than I could have hoped. David's 
acknowledgment to God runs in my 
mind, " Who am I, O Lord God, or 
what is my house, that thou hast brought 
me hitherto ; and hast regarded me ac- 
cording to the estate of a man of high 
degree, O Lord Godf." I hope that the 
same providence of God which hath once 
overruled me in this thing will some way 
or other turn it to good. 

The queen's extraordinary favour to 
me, to a degree much beyond my expec- 
tation, is no small support to me ; and 
I flatter myself with hopes, that my 
friends will continue their kindness to 
me ; especially that the best friend 1 ever 
had will not be the less so to me now 
that I need friends most. 

I pray to God continually to preserve 
you and yours, and particularly at this 
time to give my lady Cavendish a happy 

* Upon a bundle of libels found among his 
papers after his death he put no other inscrip- 
tion than this; "These are libels; I pray God 
forgive the authors : I do." 

f 1 Chron. xvii. 16, 17. 



meeting vfith her lord, and to grant 
them both a long and happy life toge- 
ther. I am, madam, your most faithful 
and humble servant. 



LETTER LXVL 

Lat/y Russel to {supposed Arch- 

bishop Tdlotson). 

24th July, ir)9l. 
In wants and distresses of all kinds, one 
naturally flies to a sure friend, if one is 
blessed with any such. This is the rea- 
son of the present address to you, which 
is burthened with this request, if you 
think it fit, to give the inclosed to the 
queen. My letter is a petition to her 
majesty, to bestow upon a gentleman a 
place, that is now fallen by the death of 
Mr. Herbert ; it is auditor of Wales, va- 
lue about 400/. a year. He is, if I do not 
extremely mistake, fit for it, and worthy 
of it ; he is knight of the shire for 
Carmarthenshire ; it would please me on 
several accounts, if I obtain it. Now 
every thing is so soon chopt upon and 
gone, that a slow way would defeat me, 
if nothing else does ; and that I fear from 
lord Devonshire if he was in town ; be- 
sides, I should not so distinctly know the 
queen's answer, and my success, as I shall 
I know do by your means, if you have 
no scruple to deliver my letter ; if you 
have, pray use me as I do you, and in the 
integrity of your heart tell me so. I 
could send it to lady Darby ; it is only 
the certainty of some answer makes me 
pitch as I do. Nay perhaps it were more 
proper to send it to the queen's secre- 
tary ; but I am not versed in the court 
ways, it is so lately since I have loved 
them. Therefore be free, and do as you 
think most fit. 

I intend not to detain you long ; but 
the many public and signal mercies we 
have of late received are so reviving, 
notwithstanding the black and dismal 
scenes which are constantly before me, 
and particularly on these sad months, I 
must feel the compassions of a wise and 
good God, to these late sinking nations, 
and to the Protestant interest all the 
world over, and all good people also. I 
raise my spirits all I can, and labour to 
rejoice in the prospect of more happy 
days, for the time to come, than some 
ages have been blessed with. The good- 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



167 



ness of those instruments God has called 
forth to work this great work by, swells 
one's hopes. 



LETTER LXVII. 



From the same to hady 



Arlington*). 



{supposed 



lOth October, 1691. 

My dear sister, I have not yet had reso- 
lution to speak to you this way, nor know 
1 now what to say. Your misfortune is 
too big- to hope that any thing I oifer 
can allay the present rage of your sor- 
row. I pray for you, and I pity you, 
which is all I can do : and that I do most 
feelingly, not knowing how soon your 
case may be mine : and I v.ant from you 
what I would most willingly furnish you 
with, some consolation and truce from 
your extreme lamentation. 

I hope that by this time your reason 
begins to get a power over your wasted 
spirits, and that you will let nature re- 
lieve herself. She will do it if you do 
not obstruct her. There is a time and 
period for all things here. Nature will 
first prevail ; but as soon as we can we 
must think what is our duty, and pursue 
it as well as we are able. I beseech God 
to teach you to submit to this unlooked 
for, and to appearance sadly severe provi- 
dence, and endue you with a quiet spirit, 
to wait for the day of consolation, when 
joy will be our portion to all eternity : in 
that day we shall meet again all our pious 
friends, aU that have died in their inno- 
cence, and with them live a life of inno- 
cence, and purity, and gladness for ever. 
Fit your thoughts with these undoubted 
truths, my dear sister, as much and as 
often as is possible. I know no other 
cure for such diseases ; nor shall we miss 
one, if we endeavour, with God's grace 
assisting, which he certainly gives to 
such as ask. God give you refreshments. 
I am your, &c. 

LETTER LXVIII. 

FroTfi the same to . 



18th October, 1691. 

The misfortunes of such as one ex- 
tremely esteems grow our own ; so that 
if my constant sad heart were not so 

* On the death of one of her daughters. 



soon touched as it is with deplorable ac- 
cidents, I should yet feel a great deal of 
your just mourning ; if sharing a cala- 
mity coidd ease you, that burden would 
be little : for as depraved an age as we 
live in, there is such a force in virtue and 
goodness, that all the world laments 
mth you ; and yet sure, madam, when 
we part from what we love most that is 
excellent, it is our best support, that 
nature, who wall be heard first, does 
suffer reason to take place. 

What can relieve so much, as that our 
friend died after a well-spent life ? Some 
losses are so surprising and so gi-eat, 
one must not break in too soon, and 
therefore my sense of your calamit}^ con- 
fined me to only a solicitous inquiry; 
and I doubt it is still a mistaken respect 
to dwell long upon such a subject. I 
will do no more than sign this truth, 
that I am your, &c. 



LETTER LXIX. 

From the same to Dr. Fittwilliam. 

July 2 1st, 1692. 
I WILL but say very little for myself, 
why you are so long without hearing 
from me, yet I could say much to my 
justification, but am more willing to 
come to the more touching and serious 
part of your last letter : not but I should 
be very sorry indeed, if I suspected you 
had a thought I were unworthy towards 
you ; I dare say you raise none upon ap- 
pearances, and other reasons you shall 
never have. In short, my daughter Ca- 
vendish being ill, carried me twice a 
day to Arlington house, where I stayed 
till twelve and one o'clock at night, and 
much business, being near leaving Lon- 
don, and my eyes serving me no longer 
by candle-light, which, perhaps, was the 
biggest let of all, and hindered my doing 
what I desired and ought to do. 

But to come to the purpose of yours, 
which I received the 13tli of this lament- 
able month, the very day of that hard 
sentence pronounced against my dear 
friend and husband : it was the fast day, 
and so I had the opportunity of retiring 
without any taking notice of it, which 
pleases me best. W[\^t shall I say, 
doctor ? That I do live by your rules ? 
No : I should lie. I bless God it has 
long been my purpose, with some endea- 



168 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book 11, 



vour, through mercy to do it. I hope I 
may conclude I grieve without sinning ; 
yet I cannot attain to that love of God 
and submission to all his providences 
that I can rejoice in : however, I bless 
him for his infinite mercy, in a support 
that is not wrought from the world 
(though my heart is too much bound up 
in the blessings I have yet left) : and I 
hope chiefly he has enabled me to rejoice 
in him as my everlasting portion, and in 
the assured hope of good things in the 
other world. 

Good doctor, we are travelling the 
same way, and hope through mercy to 
meet at the same happy end of all our 
labours here, in an eternal rest ; and it 
is of great advantage to that attainment, 
communicating pious thoughts to each 
other : nothing on this side heaven goes 
so near it ; and being where God is, it 
is heaven. If he be in our hearts there 
will be peace and satisfaction, when one 
recollects the happiness of such a state 
(which, if my heart deceives me not, I 
hope is mine) ; and I will try to expe- 
rience more and more that blessed pro- 
mise, " Come unto me, all ye that are 
heavy laden, and I will give you ease." 
This day, and this subject, induces me to 
be very long, and might to another be 
too tedious ; but 1 know it is not so to 
Dr. Fitzwilliam, who uses to feast in the 
house of mourning. However, my time 
to open my chamber door is near ; and I 
take some care not to affect in these re- 
tirements. In all circumstances I re- 
main, sir, your constantly obliged friend 
and servant. 



LETrER LXX. 



Lady Russel to Lady 



Russei. 



If ever I could retaliate with my sister 
Russel, it would be now, on the subject 
of death, when I have all this my saddest 
month been reflecting on what I saw and 
felt ; and yet what can I say more than 
to acquiesce with you, that it is a solemn 
thing to think of the consequences of 
death to believers and unbelievers ! That 
it is a contemplation ought to be of force 
to make us diligent for the approaching 
change, I must own ; yet I doubt it does 
so but on a few. That you are one of 
those happy ones I conclude, if I knew 
no more reason for it than the bare con- 



clusion of yours, that the bare meditation 
is sufficient to provoke to care : for when 
a heart is so well touched it will act : 
and who has perhaps by an absolute sur- 
render of herself so knit her soul to God, 
as will make her dear in his sight. We 
lie under innumerable obligations to be 
his entirely ; and nothing should be so 
attracting to us as his miraculous love 
in sending his Son ; but my still smart 
sorrow for earthly losses makes me know 
I loved iiiordinately, and my profit in the 
school of adversity has been small, or I 
should have long since turned my mourn- 
ing into rejoicing thankfulness, that I had 
such a friend to lose ; that I saw him I 
loved as my own soul take such a pro- 
spect of death as made him, when brought 
to it, walk through the dark and shaded 
valley (notwithstanding the natural aver- 
sion to separation) without fearing evil : 
for if we in our limited degrees of good- 
ness will not forsake those that depend 
on us, much less can God cast us from 
him when we seek to him in our cala- 
mity. And though he denied my greatest 
and repeated prayers, yet he has not de- 
nied me the support of his holy Spirit, in 
this my long day of calamity, but enabled 
me in some measure to rejoice in him as 
my portion for ever ; who has provided 
a remedy for all our griefs, by his sure 
promises of another life, where there is 
no death, nor any pain or trouble, but a 
fulness of joy in the presence of God, 
who made us and loves us for ever. 

LETTER LXXI. 

Archbishop Tillotson to Lady RusseL 

Lambeth House, August 2Gth, 1693. 
Madam, 
Though nobody rejoices more than my- 
self in the happiness of your ladyship 
and your children, yet in the hurry in 
which you must needs have been, I could 
Tiot think it fit for to give you the dis- 
turbance so much as of a letter, which 
otherwise had, both in friendship and 
good manners, been due upon this great 
occasion. But now that busy time is in a 
good measure over, I cannot forbear after 
so many as, I am sure, have been before 
me, to congratulate with your ladyship 
this happy match of your daughter; for 
so I heartily pray it may prove, and have 
great reason to believe it will, because I 
(!annot but look upon it as part of the 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



1611 



comfort and reward of your patience and 
submission to the will of God, under that 
sorest and most heavy affliction that could 
have befallen you ; and when God sends 
and intends a blessing, it shall have no 
sorrow or evil with it. 

I entreat my lord Ross and his lady to 
accept of my humble service, and my 
hearty wishes of great and lasting hap- 
piness. 

My poor wife is at present very ill, 
which goes very near me : and having 
said this, I know we shall have your 
prayers. I entreat you to give my hum- 
ble service to my lord of Bedford, and 
my lord of Cavendish and his lady. I 
could upon several accounts be melan- 
choly, but I will not upon so joyful an 
occasion. I pray God to preserve and 
bless your ladyship, and all the good fa- 
mily at Woborne, and to make us all 
concerned to prepare ourselves with the 
greatest care for a better life. I am, 
with all true respect and esteem, madam, 
your ladyship's most faithful and most 
humble servant. 



LETTER LXXIL 



what to do when he is come. I was never 
so much at my wit's end concerning the 
public. God only can bring us out of 
the labyrinth we are in, and I trust he 
will. 

My wife gives her most humble service 
and thanks to you for your concernment 
for her, and does rejoice equally with ine 
for the good news of your recovery. 

Never since I knew the world had I so 
much reason to value my friends. In the 
condition I now am I can have no new 
ones, or, if I could, I can have no assur- 
ance that they are so. I could not at a 
distance believe that the upper end of the 
world was so hollow as I find it. I ex- 
cept a very few, of whom I can believe 
no ill till I plainly see it. 

I have ever earnestly coveted your 
letters ; but now I do as earnestly beg of 
you to spare them for my sake, as well as 
your own. With my very humble ser- 
vice to my good lord of Bedford, and to 
all yours, and my hearty prayers to God 
for you all, I remain, madam, your 
ladyship's most obliged and obedient 
servant *. 

LETTER LXXIII. 



Archbishop Tillotson to Lady Russel. The Bishop of Salisbury to Lady Russel. 

Lambeth-house, October 13th, 1G93. 
I HAVE forborne, madam, hitherto, even 
to acknowledge the receipt of your lady- 
ship's letter, and your kind concernment 
for mine and my wife's health, because 
I saw how unmerciful you were to your 
eyes in your last letter to me : so that I 
should certainly have repented the pro- 
vocation I gave you to it by mine, had 
not so great and good an occasion made 
it necessary. 

I had intended this morning to have 
sent Mr. Vernon to Woborne, to have 
inquired of your ladyship's health, hav- 
ing but newly heard, that since your re- 
turn from Belvoir, a dangerous fever had 
seized upon you. But yesterday morn- 
ing, at council, I happily met with Mr. 
Russel, who, to my great joy, told me 
that he hoped that danger was over ; for 
which I thank God with all my heart, 
because I did not know how fatal the 
event might be, after the care and hurry 
you had been in, and in &o sickly a 
season. 

The king's return is now only hin- 
dered by contrary winds. I pray God to 
scud him safe to ks, ami to direct him 



Salisbury, 31st October, 1(390. 
I DO heartily congratulate with your 
ladyship for this new blessing. God has 
now heard your prayers with relation to 
two of your children, which is a good 
earnest that he will hear them in due 
time with relation to the third. You 
begin to see your children's children, 
God grant you may likewise see peace 
upon Israel. And now that God hath so 
built up your house, I hope you will set 

* The archbishop's correspondence with lady 
Russel had been interrupted on her part for 
many months, by the disorder in her eyes in- 
creasing to such a degree, that she was obliged, 
on the 27th of June, 1694, to submit to the ope- 
ration of couching. Upon this occasion his 
grace drew up a prayer two days after, in 
which he touched upon the death of her husband, 
" whom the holy and righteous Providence,^ 
says he, " permitted [under a colour of law 
andjustice] to be [unjustly] cutofffrom the land 
of the living." But over the words betv/een the 
brackets, after the first writing, he drew a line, 
as intending to erase them, probably from a re- 
flection that the^' might be too strons-, or less 
suitable to a prayer. June '28th he wrote to the 
bishop of Salisbury, " I cannot forbear to tell 
you, that my lady Kusb^tl's eye was couched 
yesterday morning witli very good success ; 
<^.'od be praised for it." 



170 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Boox IL 



yourself to build a house of prayer for the 
honour of his name. 

You have passed through very diflferent 
scenes of life. God has reserved the best 
to the last. 1 do make it a standing part 
of my poor prayers twice a day, that as 
now your family is the greatest in its 
three branches that has been in England 
in our age, so that it may in every one 
of these answer those blessings by an ex- 
emplary holiness, and that both you and 
they may be public blessings to the age 
and nation. 

I do not think of coming up yet this 
fortnight, if I am not called for*. I 
humbly thank your ladyship for giving 
me this early notice of so great a bless- 
ing to you. I hope it shall soon be com- 
pleted by my lady Ross's full recovery. 
Mrs. Burnet is very sensible of the ho- 
nour your ladyship does her in thinking 
of her, and does particularly rejoice in 
God's goodness to you. I am, with the 
highest sense of gratitude and respect 
possible, madam, your ladyship's most 
humble, most obedient, and most ob- 
liged servant. 

LETTER LXXIV. 

Lady Russel to King William, 

Sir, 
I RATHER choose to troublc your majesty 
with a letter, than be wanting in my 
duty, in the most submissive manner ima- 
ginable, to acknowledge the honour and 
favour I am told your majesty designs 
for lord Rutland and his family, in which 
I am so much interested. 

It is an act of great goodness, sir, in 
you ; and the generous manner you have 

* The marquis of Halifax said of bishop Bur- 
net, " He makes many enemies, by setting an 
ill natured example of living, which they are not 
inclined to follow. His indifference for pre- 
ferment, his contempt not only of splendour, 
but of all unnecessary plenty, his degrading 
himself into the lowest and most painful duties 
of his calling, are such uiiprelatical qualities, 
that let him be never soorthodox in other things, 
in these he must be a Dissenter. Virtues of such 
a stamp are so many heresies in the opinion of 
those divines who have softened the primitive 
injunctions, so as to make them suit betterwith 
the present frailty of mankind. No wonder 
then if they are angry, since it is in their own 
defence ; or that, from a principle of self-pre- 
servation, they should endeavour to suppress a 
man whose parts are a shame, and whose life is 
a scandal to them." Both he and Tillotson, as 
well as many other Christian bishops, were 
averse to pluralities and non-residence. 



been pleased to promise it in, makes the 
honour, if possible, greater. As you 
will lay an eternal obligation on that fa- 
mily, be pleased to allow me to answer 
for all those I am related to ; they will 
look on themselves equally honoured 
with lord Rutland, by your favour to his 
family, and I am sure will express their 
acknowledgments to your majesty in the 
most dutiful manner, to the best of their 
services; in which I earnestly desire my 
son Bedford may exceed, as he has been 
first and early honoured with the marks 
of your favour. And I hope I may live 
to see your majesty has bestowed one 
more upon him, who appears to me to 
have no other ambition, except what he 
prefers above all others, making him- 
self acceptable to your majesty, and 
living in your good opinion. 

I presume to say, 1 believe there is no 
fault in his intentions of duty towards 
your majesty, nor I trust ever will be : 
and that as his years increase, his per- 
formances will better declare the faith- 
fulness of his mind, which will hugely 
enlarge the comforts of your majesty's 
most humble, most dutiful, and most 
obedient servant, 

N.B. Lady RusseVs indorsement on the 

foregoing letter is in these words : 

To the King, 1701-2, about first of 
March, and found in his pocket 
when dead. 



LETTER LXXV. 



Lady Russel 



to (Rouvigny) 
Galxvayf. 



Earl of 



June, 1711. 
Alas ! my dear lord Galway, my thoughts 
are all yet disorder, confusion, and 
amazement ; and I think I am very in- 
capable of saying or doing what I should. 
I did not know the greatness of my 

f Lady Russel's only son Wriothesley, duke 
of Bedford, died of the small-pox in May, 1711, 
in the 3 1 St year of his age, upon which occasion 
this letter was written. To this affliction suc- 
ceeded, in November, 1711, the loss of her 
daughter the duchess of Rutland, who died in 
childbed. Lady Russel, after seeing her in the 
coffin, went to her other daughter, married to 
the duke of Devonshire, from whom it was ne- 
cessary to conceal her grief, she being at that 
time in childbed likewise; therefore she as- 
sumed a cheerful air, and with astonishing reso- 
lution, agreeable to truth, answered her anxious 
daughter's inquirieswith these words; "I have 
seen yonr sister out of bed to-day." 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



171 



love to his person till I could see it no 
more. Wlien nature, who will he mis- 
tress, has in some measure with time re- 
lieved herself, then, and not till then, 
I trust the Goodness which hath no 
hounds, and whose power is irresistible, 
will assist me by his grace to rest con- 
tented with what his unerring provi- 
dence has appointed and permitted. And 
I sliaU feel ease in this contemplation, 
that there was nothing uncomfortable in 
his death, but the losing him. His God 
was, I verily believe, ever in his thoughts. 
Towards his last hours he called upon 
him, and complained he could not pray 
his prayers. To what I answered, he 
said, he wished for more time to make 
up his accounts with God. Then, with 
remembrance to his sisters, and telling 
me how good and kind his wife had been 
to him, and that he should have been 
glad to have expressed himself to her, 
said something to me and my double 
kindness to his wife, and so died away. 
There seemed no reluctancy to leave this 
world, patient and easy the whole time, 
and I believe knew his danger, but, loth 
to grieve those by him, delayed what he 
might have said. But why all this ? 
The decree is past. I do not ask your 
prayers, I know you offer them with 
sincerity to our Almighty God for your 
afflicted kinswoman. 



LETTER LXXVI. 



From Lord Shaftesbury'*' to 



Feb. 24th, 17G6-7, 

I ACCEPT kindly the offer of your cor- 
respondence, and chiefly as it comes from 
you with heartiness and (the best of cha- 
racters) simplicity. When this disposi- 
tion of heart attends our searches into 
learning and philosophy, we need not 
fear being " vainly puffed up," or falling 
into that false way of wisdom, which the 
Scripture calls " vain philosophy." When 
the improvement of our minds, and the 
advancement of our reason, is aU we 
aim at ; and this only to fit us for a per- 
fecter, more rational, and worthier ser- 
vice of God ; we can have no scruples 
whether or no the work be an acceptable 
one to him. But where neither our duty 

♦ These letters were written before the Cha- 
racteristics, which were first published 1711. 



to mankind, nor obedience to our Crea- 
tor, is any way the end or object of our 
studies or exercises, be they ever so cu- 
rious or exquisite, they may be justly 
styled " vain ; " and often the vainer, for 
carrying with them the false show of ex- 
cellence and superiority. 

On this account, though there be no 
part of learning more advantageous even 
towards divinity than logics, metaphy- 
sics, and what we call university-learn- 
ing ; yet nothing proves more dangerous 
to young minds unforewarned, or, what 
is worse, prepossessed with the excel- 
lency of such learning : as if all wisdom 
lay in the solution of those riddles of the 
school-men, who in the last ages of the 
church, found out an excellent way to 
destroy religion by philosophy, and ren- 
der reason and philosophy ridiculous, 
under that garb they had put on it. If 
your circumstances or condition suffer 
you to enter into the world by a uni- 
versity, well is it for you that you have 
prevented such prepossession. 

However, I am not sorry that I lent 
you Mr. Locke's Essay of Human Un- 
derstanding, which may as well qualify 
for business and the world, as for the 
sciences and a university. No one has 
done more towards the recalling of phi- 
losophy from barbarity, into use and 
practice of the world, and into the com- 
pany of the better and politer sort ; who 
might well be ashamed of it in its other 
dress. No one has opened a better or 
clearer way to reasoning. And above all, 
I wonder to hear him censured so much 
by any Church-of-England men, for ad- 
vancing reason and bringing the use of 
it so much into religion ; when it is by 
this only that we fight against the enthu- 
siasts, and repel the great enemies of oui* 
church. It is by this weapon alone that 
we combat those visionaries, who in the 
last age broke in so foully upon us, and 
are now (pretendedly at least) esteemed 
so terrible and dangerous. 

But though I am one of those who, in 
these truly happy times, esteem our 
church as wholly out of danger: yet 
should we hearken to those men who dis- 
claim this use of reason in religion, we 
must lay ourselves open afresh to all fa- 
natics. For what else is fanaticism? 
Wliere does the stress of their cause lie ? 
Are not their unintelligible motions of 
the spirit ; their unexpressible pretend 
ed feelings, apprehensions j and lights 



m 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book 1L 



within ; their inspirations in prophecy, 
extempore prayer, preaching, &c . ; are not 
these, I say, the foundations on which 
they build their cause ? Are not our cokl 
dead reasonings (as they call them) a re- 
proach and stumbling-block to them ? if 
you will believe their leaders, who are 
instantly cut off from all their pretences 
to gifts and spirits, and supernatural 
graces, if they are once brought to the 
test of cool reason and deliberate exa- 
mination. And can we thus give up our 
cause, by giving up reason ? Shall we 
give them up our Tillotsons, our Bar- 
rows, our Chillingworths, our Ham- 
monds? For what less is it to give 
up this way of reason so much decried by 
those condemners of Mr. Locke ? But 
such is the spirit of some men in contro- 
versial matters. A certain noted clergy- 
man of learning and ability, and great 
reputed zeal, a great enemy of Master 
Locke, has (I am lately told) turned 
rigid Calvinist, as to all the points of pre- 
destination, free-grace, &c.; and not only 
this clergyman, but several more in the 
university of that high party, who ran as 
high in opposition to Calvinism but one 
reign or two since. The reason of this is 
but too obvious. Our bishops and dig- 
nified churchmen (the most worthily and 
justly dignified of any in any age) are, 
as they ever were, inclinable to mode- 
ration in the high Calvinistic points. 
But they are also inclinable to mode- 
ration in other points. 

Hirtc nice lachrymce. 

They are for toleration, inviolable tole- 
ration (as our queen nobly and Chris- 
tianly said it, in her speech a year or two 
since) ; and this is itself intolerable with 
our high gentlemen, who despise the 
gentleness of their Lord and Master, and 
the sweet mild government of our queen, 
preferring rather that abominable blas- 
j)hemous representative of church power, 
attended with the worst of temporal go- 
vernments, as we see it in perfection of 
each kind in France. From this, and 
from its abettors of every kind, and in 
every way, I pray God deliver us, whilst 
we are daily thankful for what in his 
providence he has already done towards 
it, and to the happiness and glory of our 
excellent queen and country. So fare- 
well. 1 am your good friend to serve 
vou. 



LETTER LXXVII. 

From Lord Shafteshiiry to — 



May irtli, 1707. 

Since your disposition inclines you so 
strongly towards university-learning ; 
and your sound exercise of your reason, 
and the integrity of your heart, give 
good assurance against the narrow prin- 
ciples 'and contagious manner of those 
corrupted places, whence all noble and 
free principles ought rather to be propa- 
gated ; I shall not be wanting to you on 
my part, when 1 shall see the fruit of your 
studies, life, and conversation, answer- 
able to those good seeds of principles you 
seem to carry in you. 

I am glad to find your love of reason 
and free-thought. Your piety and vir- 
tue, I know, you wiU always keep ; espe- 
cially since your desires and natural in- 
clinations are towards so serious a sta- 
tion in life, which others undertake too 
slightly, and without examining their 
hearts. 

Pray God direct you, and confirm your 
good beginnings, and in the practice of 
virtue and religion ; assuring yourself 
that the highest principle, which is the 
love of God, is best attained, not by dark 
speculations and monkish philosophy, 
but by moral practice, and love of man- 
kind, and a study of their interests : the 
chief of which, and that which only raises 
them above the degree of brutes, is free- 
dom of reason in the learned world, and 
good government and liberty in the civil 
world. Tyranny in one is ever accom- 
panied, or soon followed, by tyranny in 
the other. And when slavery is brought 
upon a people, they are soon reduced to 
that base and brutal state, both in their 
understandings and morals. 

True zeal therefore for God or religion, 
must be supported by real love for man- 
kind : and love of mankind cannot con- 
sist but with a right knowledge of man's 
great interests, and of the only ways and 
means (that of liberty and freedom) which 
God and nature has made necessary and 
essential to his manly dignity and cha- 
racter. They therefore who betray these 
principles, and the rights of mankind, 
betray religion even so as to make it an 
instrument against itself. 

But I must have done, and am your 
good friend to serve you. 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



173 



LETTER LXXVIII. 

From the same to the same. 

November 19th, 1707. 
Truly if your heart correspond en- 
tirely with your pen, and if you tho- 
roughly feel those good principles you 
have expressed, I cannot but have a 
great increase of kindness and esteem 
for you. 

Imagine not that I suspect you of so 
mean a thing as hypocrisy or aiFected 
virtue : I am fully satisfied you mean and 
intend what you write. But, alas ! the 
misfortune of youth, and not of youth 
merely, but of human nature, is such, 
that it is a thousand times easier to frame 
the highest ideas of virtue and goodness, 
than to practise the least part. And per- 
haps this is one of the chief reasons why 
virtue is so ill practised ; because the im- 
pressions, which seem so strong at first, 
are too far relied on. We are apt to 
think, that what appears so fair, and 
strikes us so forcibly, at the first view, 
will surely hold with us. We launch 
forth into speculation ; and after a time, 
when we look back and see how slowly 
practice comes up to it, we are the sooner 
led to despondency the higher we had 
carried our views before. 

Remember therefore to restrain your- 
self within due bounds ; and to adapt 
youi' contemplation to what you are ca- 
pable of practising. For there is a sort 
of spiritual ambition; and in reading 
those truly divine authors whom you 
have sometimes cited to me, I have ob- 
served many to have miscarried by too 
fervent and eager a pursuit of such per- 
fection. 

Glad I am, however, that you are not 
one of those dull souls that are incapable 
of any spiritual refinement. I rejoice to 
see you raise yourself above the rank of 
sordid and sensual spirits, who, though 
set apart and destined to spirituals, under- 
stand not that there is any thing prepa- 
ratory to it, beyond a little scholarship 
and knowledge of forms. I rejoice to 
see that you think of other preparations, 
and another discipline of the heart and 
mind, than what is thought of amongst 
that indolent and supine race of men. 

You are sensible, I perceive, that there 
is another sort of study, a profounder 
meditation, which becomes those wlio 
are to set an example to mankind, and 



fit themselves to expound and teach those 
short and summary precepts and divine 
laws, delivered to us in positive com- 
mands by our sacred Legislator. 

It is our business, and of all, as many 
as are raised in knowledge above the 
poor, illiterate, and laborious vulgar, to 
explain as far as possible the reasons of 
those laws ; their consent with the law 
of nature ; their suitableness to society, 
and to the peace, happiness, and enjoy- 
ment of ourselves. It is there alone that 
we have need of recourse to fire and 
brimstone, and what other punishments 
the Divine Goodness (for our good) has 
condescended to threaten us with, where 
the force of these arguments cannot 
prevail. 

Our business within ourselves is to set 
ourselves free according to that perfect 
law of liberty, which we are bid to look 
into. And I am delighted to read these 
words from you, viz. that we are made 
to contemplate and love God entirely, 
and with a free and voluntary love. But 
this you will see is a mystery too deep 
for those souls whom' you converse with, 
and see around you. They have scarce 
heard of what it is to combat with their 
appetites and senses. They think them- 
selves sufiiciently justified as men, and 
sufficiently qualified as holy men, and 
teachers of religion, if they can compass 
matters by help of circumstances and 
outward fortune, so as happily to re- 
strain these lusts and appetites of theirs 
within the bounds of ordinary hmnan 
laws. Hence those allurements of ex- 
ternal objects (as you well remark) they 
are so far from declining, that they 
rather raise and advance them by all 
possible means, without fear of adding 
fuel to their inflamed desires, in a heart 
which can never burn towards God till 
those other fires are extinct. 

God grant that since you know this 
better way, this chaste and holy disci- 
pline, you may 'still pursue it with that 
just and pious jealousy over your own 
heart, that neither your eyes, nor any of 
your senses, may be led away to serve 
themselves, or any thing but that Creator 
who made them for his service, and in 
whom alone is happiness and rest. 

I wisli you well, and shall be glad to 
hear still of you. 



174 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



LETTER LXXIX. 

JProw Lord Shaftesbury to - 



April 2d, 170S. 
1 HAVE received yours every week, and 
am highly satisfied with your thoughts ; 
not doubting but they are truly your own 
and natural, as well as your manner of 
expressing them ; for in this I would 
have you keep an entire freedom, and 
deliver your sentiments still nakedly, and 
without art or ornament. For it is the 
heart I look for : and though the orna- 
ments of style are what you are obliged 
to study and practise on other occasions, 
the less you regard them, and the greater 
simplicity you discover in writing pri- 
vately to myself, the greater my satisfac- 
tion is, and the more becoming the part 
you have to act. 

I was particularly pleased with your 
thoughts and reasonings on Christian li- 
berty, and the zeal you shew for that no- 
ble principle, by which we cease to be 
slaves and drudges in religion ; and by 
being reconciled to our duty, and to the 
excellence of those precepts and injunc- 
tions, which tend absolutely to our good 
and happiness in every respect, we be- 
come liberal servants and children of 
God. 

A mind thus released and set at li- 
berty, if it once sees its real good, will 
hardly be deprived of it, or disheartened 
in the pursuit, whatever discourage- 
ment surrounds it. It is the inward 
enemy alone can stop it. For when a 
mind, set free from voluntary error and 
self-darkening conceit, aspires to what 
is generous and deserving, nothing but 
what is vile and slavish from within can 
deaden it ; nothing but a base love of 
inward slavery, and an adherence to our 
vices and corruptions, is able to effect 
this. 

In some, who are horridly degenerate, 
this submission is wholly voluntary. Self- 
interest leads them, whether it be a pri- 
vate one of their own, or in society and 
confederacy with some faction or party, 
to the support of temporal ends. In this 
case it carries a specious shew of public 
good ; whether it be in church or state. 
And thus it is often the occasion of an 
open denial of reason, and of a bare- 
faced opposition to the glorious search 
of truth. 

In others, it is mere sloth and lazi- 



ness, or sordid appetite and lust, which, 
bringing them under the power of sin 
and ignorance, fits them for political 
servitude by moral prostitution. For 
when the tyranny of lust and passion 
can be indulgently permitted, and even 
esteemed a happiness, no wonder if li- 
berty of thought be in little esteem. 
Every thing civil or spiritual of this kind 
must needs be disregarded, or rather 
looked upon with jealousy and appre- 
hension. 

For one tyranny supports another : 
one slavery helps and ministers to ano- 
ther. Vice ministers to superstition ; 
and a gainful ministress she is : super- 
stition on the other hand returns the 
kindness, and will not be ungrateful. 
Superstition supports persecution, and 
persecution superstition. 

Vice and intemperance is but an in- 
ward persecution. It is here the vio- 
lence begins. Here the truth is first 
held in unrighteousness, and the yvos-cuv, 
" reason knowable, the intelligible, the 
divine part," is persecuted and impri- 
soned. Those who submit to this ty- 
ranny, in time not only come to it, but 
plead for it, and think the law of virtue 
tyrannical and against nature. 

So in the absolute governments of the 
world : nations, that submit to arbitrary 
rule, love even their form of government : 
if one may call that a form which is with- 
out any, and, like vice itself, knows 
neither law nor order. 

In this state the mind helps forward 
the ill work. For when reason, as an 
antagonist to vice, is become an inward 
enemy, and has once lost her interest with 
the soul by opposing every favourite pas- 
sion, she will then be soon expelled an- 
other province, and lie under suspicion 
for every attempt she makes upon the 
mind. She is presently miscalled and 
abused. She is thought notional in the 
understanding, whimsical in company, 
seditious in the state, heretical in the 
church. Even in philosophy, her own 
proper dominion, she is looked upon as 
none of the best of companions ; and here 
also authority is respected as the most 
convenient guide. 

This we find to be the temper of cer- 
tain places ; where wit and sense, how- 
ever, are not wanting, nor learning of a 
certain kind. So that what is at the 
bottom of all this is easily seen by those 
who see those places, and can but make 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



175 



use of their eyes to observe manners and 
morals. 

It is pretty visible indeed that the ori- 
ginal of all is in those sordid vices of 
sloth, laziness, and intemperance. This 
makes way for ambition ; for how should 
these be so illustriously maintained and 
vindicated, v/ithout large temporal power, 
and the umbrage of authority ? Hence 
it is that those mother-vices are so in- 
dulgently treated in those places, and 
that temperance and virtue are looked 
upon with an evil eye, as fanatically in- 
clined. For who that is morally free, and 
has asserted his inward liberty, can see 
truth thus held, reason and ingenuity 
suppressed, without some secret abhor- 
rence and detestation ? 

But this you are happily apprized of ; 
nor can you miscarry or be turned aside 
by imposture, or assuming formality and 
pride of any kind. You know your li- 
berty : use it and be free. But use it as 
becomes you, with all due meekness and 
submission as to outward carriage. It 
is the inward man that is to be relieved 
and rescued from his chains. Others 
need not your admonition ; nor is this 
your duty, but far contrary. Preserve 
yourself from the contagion, and it is 
enough : a great task it is, and will ap- 
pear so to you, if you are hearty in it, 
and concerned for the thing itself, not 
the appearance. For the inclination to- 
wards rebuke and rectifying of others, 
which feels like zeal in us, is often the 
deceit of pride and self-conceit, which 
finds this way to screen itself and ma- 
nage undiscovered. 

Keep your virtue and honesty to 
yourself; for if it be truly such, it will 
be in no pain for being kept secret. 
And thus you may be safe, and in due 
time, perhaps, useful also to others. 
Learn to discourse and reason with 
yourself, or, as you honestly do, in let- 
ters to me. Trouble not others ; nor 
be provoked to shew your sentiments, 
and betray noble and generous truths to 
such as can neither bear them, nor those 
whom they suspect to be in possession 
of them. 

Mind that which is the chief of all, 
liberty ; and subdue early your own 
temper and appetites. It will then be 
time for higher speculations, when those 
wandering imaginations, vain conceits, 
and wanton thoughts of youth, are 
mortified and subdued. Religion then 



will have no enemy opposed to her ; and 
in spite of superstition^ and all spiritual 
tyrannies of the world, will soon be 
found a joyful task, the pleas ante st of all 
lives, quite other than is commonly re- 
presented. 

Look chiefly to this practice ; for this 
is always permitted you ; this you can 
be employed in every hour, even when 
books and privacy are denied you, and 
business and attendance required. The 
more you are a servant in this sense, the 
more you will partake of that chief li- 
berty which is learnt by obedience and 
submission. And thus even they who 
perhaps, by their haughtiness and harsh- 
ness, would render you a slave, and awe 
you into servile thoughts, will most of 
all contribute to your manumission ; if 
by their sad example they teach you (in 
meekness still and humility) to detest 
the more their narrow, persecuting, and 
bitter spirit, supported by their vices, 
and shew you evidently that great truth, 
that ' ' tyranny can never be exercised 
but by one who is already a slave." 

Be assured, therefore, that where the 
heart disdains this original corruption, 
the mind will be its friend : and by de- 
livering it from all spiritual bondage, 
will qualify it for a further progress, re- 
warding virtue by itself. For of virtue 
there can be no reward but of the same 
kind with itself; nothing can be super- 
added to it : and even heaven itself can 
be no other than the addition of grace 
to grace, virtue to virtue, and know- 
ledge to knowledge ; by which we may 
still more and more comprehend the 
chief virtue, and highest excellence, the 
Giver and Dispenser of all : to whom I 
commit you, and pray your studies may 
be eiFectual. So farewell. 



LETTER LXXX. 



Froiti the same to 



January 28th, 1708-0. 

I WAS that morning thinking with my- 
self what was become of you ; and al- 
most resolved to have you inquired of at 
your father's ; when I received your very 
surprising letter, which brought so good 
an account of yourself, and a proof how 
well you had spent your time, during 
this your long silence. 

It was providential, surely, that I 



176 



ELEGANT E P I S T L E Sv 



Book II. 



should happen once to speak to you of 
the Greek language, when you asked 
concerning the foundations of learning, 
and the source and fountain of those 
lights we have, whether in morality or 
divinity. It was not possible for me to 
answer you deceitfully or slightly. I 
could not but point out to you where 
the spring-head lay. But, as well as I 
can remember, I bad you not be discou- 
raged ; for by other channels, derived 
from those fountains, you would be suf- 
ficiently supplied with the knowledge 
necessary for the solemn character that 
lay before you. 

You hearkened to me, it seems, with 
great attention and belief, and did re- 
solve to take no middle way. But little 
could I have thought that you dared to 
have made your attempt on the other 
side, instead of drawing in your forces, 
and collecting your strength and the re- 
mainder of your precious time for what 
lay on this hither side. But since God 
would have it so, so be it : and I pray 
God prober you in your daring at- 
tempt, and bless you with true modesty 
and simplicity in all the other endea- 
vours and practices of your life, as you 
have had courage and mighty boldness 
in this one. 

And so indeed it may naturally hap- 
pen by the same good providence ; since 
at the instant that you began this enter- 
prise, you have fallen into such excel- 
lent reading. And if, as you shew by 
your letter, Simplicius's Comment be 
your delight, even that alone is a suffi- 
cient earnest of your soul's improve- 
ment as well as of your mind's, if such a 
distinction may well be made : for alas ! 
all that we call improvement of our 
minds in dry and empty speculation, all 
learning or whatever else, either in theo- 
logy or other science, which has not a 
direct tendency to render us honester, 
milder, juster, and better, is far from 
being justly so called. And even all 
that philosophy which is built on the 
comparison and compounding of ideas, 
complex, implex, reflex, and all that din 
and noise of metaphysics ; all that pre- 
tended study and science of nature 
called natural philosophy, Aristotelian, 
Cartesian, or v/hatever else it be; all 
those high contemplations of stars, and 
spheres, and planets ; and all the other 
inquisitive curious parts of learning, are 
so far from being necessary improve- 



ments of the mind, that without the 
utmost care they serve only to blow 
it up in conceit and folly, and render 
men more stiff in their ignorance and 
vices. 

And this brings into my thoughts a 
small piece of true learning, which I 
think is generally bound up with Sim- 
plicius and Epictetus : it is the Table (or 
Picture) of Cebes the Socratic, and elder 
disciple of Plato. This golden piece I 
would have you study, and have by 
heart; the Greek too being pure and 
excellent : and by this picture you will 
better understand my hint, and know 
the true learning from that which falsely 
passes under the name of wisdom and 
science. 

As for the divine Plato, I would not 
wish you, as yet, to go beyond a dia- 
logue or two ; and let those be the first 
and second Alcibiades : for now I will 
direct and assist you all 1 can, that you 
may gradually proceed, and not meet 
with stumbling-blocks in your way, or 
what instead of forwarding may retard 
you. 

Read these pieces again and again. 
Suspend for a while the reading of Epic- 
tetus, and read of Marcus Antoninus 
only what you perfectly understand. 
Look into no commentator ; though he 
has two very learned ones, Gataker 
and Casaubon : and by no means study 
or so much as think on any of the pas- 
sages that create any difficulty or hesi- 
tation : but, as I tell you, keep to the 
plain and easy passages, which you may 
mark or write out, and so use on occa- 
sion, as you walk or go about. For I 
reckon you are a good improver of your 
time, and that you manage every mo- 
ment to advantage ; else you could never 
have thus suddenly advanced so far as 
you have done. 

But, in this case, you must take care 
of your health, by moving and using ex- 
ercise, which makes me speak of walk- 
ing. For the mind must suffer, in some 
sense, when the body does. And stu- 
dents who are over-eager, and neglect 
this duty, hurt both their health and 
temper : the latter of which has a sad 
influence on their minds ; and makes 
them, like ill vessels, sour whatever is 
put into them, though of ever so good a 
land. For never do we more need a 
just cheerfulness, good humour, or ala- 
crity of mind, than when we are con- 



Sect. 11, 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



177 



templating' God and virtue. So that it 
may be assigned as one cause of the au- 
sterity and harshness of some men's di- 
vinity, that in their habit of mind, and 
by that very morose and sour temper, 
which they contract with their hard stu- 
dies, they make the idea of God so much 
after the pattern of their own bitter 
spirit. 

But, as i was saying concerning your 
progress, it is better for you to read in 
a small compass what is good and excel- 
lent, and of easy conception (without 
stop or difficulty, as to the speculation), 
than to read much in many. 

And having thus confined you, as to 
three of your authors mentioned, and 
set your bounds ; 1 proceed to the 
fourth, which is Lucian ; with whom, 
for a very different reason, I would have 
you also read but here and there. For 
though he is one of the politest writers 
of the latter age ; he only has set him- 
self out like the jay in the fable, with 
the spoils of those excellent and divine 
w^orks by way of dialogue (which was 
the way that anciently all the philo- 
sophers wrote in) ; most of which works 
are now lost and perished : and I fear 
the true reason why Lucian was pre- 
served, instead of any of the other, was 
because of the envy of the Christian 
church, which soon began to be so cor- 
rupt; and finding this author to be so 
truly profane, and a scoffer of his own 
and all religions, they were contented 
to bear his immorality and dissolute 
style and manners, only for the satis- 
faction of seeing the heathen religion 
ridiculed by a heathen, and the good 
and pious writers (unjustly styled pro- 
fane) most monstrously abused by a 
wretch, who was truly the most profane 
and impious : and who, at the same 
time, even in the pieces that are left of 
him in the same book, treats both Moses 
and our Saviour, and the whole Chris- 
tian religion, as contemptibly as he does 
his own. Therefore, as his dialogues of 
his courtezans are horridly vicious and 
licentious, and against all good man- 
ners ; and as his dialogues of the gods 
are mere buffoonery, and liis abuse of 
Plato, Socrates, and the rest of those 
divine heathens, as unjust and wicked, 
as really they are mean and ridiculous, 
I would not by any means have you 
to learn Greek at such a cost. There 
are some dialogues bound up, which 



are not of Jjucian's : and these are the 
best. One concerning the cynics (whom 
he elsev/here so abuses) is of that 
number, as I take it : and some plea- 
sant treatises there are besides, all in 
pure Greek. 

But here is the great and essential 
matter, of the last consequence to our 
souls and minds, to keep them from the 
contagion of pleasure. And to shew you 
that 1 am not by this an imitator of the 
severe ascetic monastic race of divines, 
or an admirer of any thing that looks 
like restraint in knowledge, or learning, 
or speculation ; consider of this that I 
am going to say to you, and carry your 
reflection as far back as to that first little 
glimmering of ingenuity, which shewed 
itself in you in your childhood ; I mean 
the art of painting. Had you been to 
have made one of those artists of the no- 
bier kind, who paint history, and actions, 
and nature ; and had you been sent 
by me into Italy, or elsewhere, to learn 
the style and manner of the great mas- 
ters ; what advice, think you, should 1 
have given you ? I say, what advice ? 
not as a Christian, or philosopher, or 
man of virtue ; but merely as a lover of 
the art : supposing I had ever been of a 
very vicious life ; and had had no other 
end in sending you abroad, than to h?„ve 
procured pictures, and have got you a 
masterly hand in that kind, and to have 
employed you afterwards for my own 
use, and for the ornament of my house : 
most certainly my advice must have been 
this (and thus any other master or pa- 
tron of common sense would have ac- 
costed you) : 

" You are now going to learn what 
is excellent and beautiful in the way of 
painting. You will go where there are 
many pictures of many different hands, 
and quite contrary in their manner and 
style. You wiU find many judges of 
different opinions ; and the worst mas- 
ters, the worst pieces, the worst styles 
and manners, will have their admirers. 
How is it you should form your relish ? 
By what means shall you come to have a 
right admiration yourself, and praise 
and imitate only what is truly exquisite 
and good in the kind? If you follow 
your sudden fancy and bent ; if you fix 
your eye on that ^^hich most strikes and 
pleases you at the first sight ; you will 
most certainly never come to have a 
good eve at all. You will be led aside, 
N 



178 



iSLEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book II. 



and have a florid, gay, foolish fancy ; and 
any lewd tawdry piece of dawhing will 
make a stronger impression on you, than 
the most majestic chaste piece of the 
soberest master ; and a Flemish or a 
French manner will more prevail with 
you than a true Italian. 

" How sliall we do then in this case ? 
— Why even thus : (for what way is 
there else?) make it a solemn iiile to 
yourself, to cheek your own eye and 
fancy, which naturally leads to gaiety, 
and turn it strongly on that which it 
cares not at first to dwell upon. Be sure 
that you pass by, on every occasion, 
whatever little idle piece of a negligent 
loose kind may be apt to detain your 
eye ; and fix yourself upon the nobler, 
more masterly, and studied pieces of 
such as were known virtuosos, and ad- 
mired by all such. If you find no grace 
or charm at the first looking, look on ; 
continue to observe all that you possibly 
can ; and when you have got one 
glimpse, improve it, copy it, cultivate 
the idea, and labour till you have 
worked yourself into a right taste, and 
formed a relish and understanding of 
what is truly beautiful in the kind." 

This is what an ordinary master or 
patron of common good sense would 
have said to you upon your enterprise 
on painting : and this is what I now 
say to you on your great enterprise on 
knowledge and learning. This is the 
reason I cry out to you against plea- 
sure ; to beware of those paths which 
lead to a wrong knowledge, a wrong 
judgment of what is supremely beautifid 
and good. 

Your endeavour and hope is to know 
God and goodness, in which alone there 
is true enjoyment and good. The way 
to this is not to put out your eyes, or 
hoodwink yourself, or lie in the dark, 
expecting to see visions. No, you need 
not apologize for yourself (as you do) 
for desiring to read Origen, the good 
Father, and best of aU those they call so. 
You shall not only, by my consent, read 
Origen, but even Celsus himself, who 
was a heathen and writ zealously against 
the Christians, whom Origen defends : 
so far am I from bidding you fly hereti- 
cal or heathen books, where good man- 
ners, honesty, and fair reason shew 
themselves. But where vice, ill man- 
ners, abusive wit, and buffoonery appear, 
the prejudice is just ; pronounce against 



such authors, fly them, and condemn 
them. 

Preserve yourself, and keep your eye 
and judgment clear. But if the eye be 
not open to all fair and handsome spec- 
tacles, how should you learn what is fair 
and handsome ? You would praise God : 
But how would you praise him? and 
for what? Know you, as yet, what true 
excellence is? The attributes, as you 
call them, which you have learnt in your 
catechism, or in the higher schools of 
the school-men and divines ; — the attri- 
butes, I say, of justice, goodness, wis- 
dom, and the like, are they really under- 
stood by you ? or do you talk of these 
by rote ? If so ; what is this but giving 
words to God, not praise, nor honour, 
nor glory? If the Apostle appeals to 
whatsoever is lovely, whatsoever is ho- 
nest (or comely), whatsoever is virtue, 
or praise-worthiness ; how shaU we 
understand his appeal till we have stu- 
died ? Or do we know these things from 
our cradles? For since we were men, 
we never vouchsafed to inquire ; but took 
for granted that we were knowing in the 
matter ; which yet, without philosophy, 
it is impossible we should be ; so that 
when, without philosophy, we make use 
of these high terms, and praise God in 
these philosophical characters, we may 
be very good and pious, and v/ell-mean- 
ing ; but indeed we are little better than 
parrots in devotion. 

To return therefore to the picture, and 
the advice I am to give you in your study 
of that great and masterly hand which 
has drawn all things, and exhibited this 
great master- piece of nature, this world 
or universe. The first thing is, that you 
prepare and clear your sight ; that your 
eye be simple, pure, uncorrupted, and 
ready and fit to receive that light which 
is to shine into it. This is done by vir- 
tue, meekness, modesty, sincerity. And 
way being thus made, your resolution 
standing towards truth, and you being 
conscious to yourself, that whilst you seek 
truth you cannot offend the God of truth ; 
be not afraid of viewing all and com- 
paring all. For without comparison of 
the false with the true, of the ugly with 
the beauteous, of the dark and obscure 
with the bright and shining, we can 
measure nothing, nor apprehend any 
thing that is excellent. We m.ay be as 
well pagan, heathen, Turk, or any thing 
else ; if being at Constantinople, Ispahan, 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



179 



or wherever the seat of any great em- 
pire is we refuse to look on Christian 
authors, or hear their sober apologists, as 
being contrary to the history imposed on 
us, with an utter destruction and can- 
celling of all other history or philosophy 
whatsoever. 

But this fear being set aside, which is 
so wholly unworthy of God, and so de- 
basing to his standard of reason which he 
has placed in us ; our next concern is, to 
look impartially into all authors, and 
upon all nations, and into all parts of 
learning and human life ; to seek and find 
out the true pidchrwn, the honestum, the 
yiOiKoY : by which standard and measure 
we may know God ; and know how to 
praise him, when we have learnt what 
is praiseworthy. 

Be this your search, and by these 
means, and by this way I have shewn 
you. Seek for the xaAov in every thing, 
beginning as low as the plants, the fields, 
or even the common arts of mankind, to 
see what is beauteous, and what contrary. 
Thus, and by the original fountains you 
are arrived to, you will, under Provi- 
dence, attain beauty and true wisdom 
for yourself, being true to virtue ; and 
so God prosper you. 



LETTER LXXXI. 



lation be not perfectly good and conform- 
able to this standard. For, if so, the very 
end of the Gospel proves its truth. And 
that which to the vulgar is only know- 
able by miracles, and teachable by posi- 
tive precepts and commands, to the wise 
and virtuous is demonstrable by the na- 
ture of the thing. So that how can we 
forbear to give our assent to those doc- 
trines, and that revelation, which is de- 
livered to us, and enforced by miracles 
and wonders ? But to us, the very test 
and proof of the divineness and truth of 
that revelation is from the excellence of 
the things revealed : otherwise the won- 
ders themselves would have little efi'ect 
or power ; nor could they be thoroughly 
depended on, were we even as near to 
them as those who lived more than a 
thousand years since, when they were 
freshly wrought, and strong in the me- 
mory of men. This is what alone can 
justify our easiness of faith ; and in this 
respect we can never be too resigned, 
too willing, or too complaisant. 

Meanwhile let your eye be simple, and 
turn it from the oMsov to the ^siov. View 
God in goodness, and in his works, 
which have that character. Dwell with 
honesty, and beauty, and order : study 
and love what is of this kind ; and in time 
you will know and love the Author. 
Farewell. 



Lord Shafteshwy to . 

Februar_v 8, 1 709. 
I COMMEND your honest liberty : and 
therefore in the use of it recommend 
to you the pursuit of the same thoughts, 
that you have so honestly and naturally 
grafted upon the stock afforded you : 
to which God grant a true life and in- 
crease. 

Time v/ill be, when your greatest dis- 
turbance will arise from that ancient dif- 
ficulty TToSev ro Tcaxov. But when you 
have well inured yourself to the precepts 
and speculation which give the view of its 
noble contrary (ro xaAov), you will rest 
satisfied. But be persuaded, in the mean 
time, that wisdom is more from the heart, 
than from the head. Feel goodness, and 
you will see all things fair and good. 

Let it be your chief endeavour to make 
acquaintance with what is good : that by 
seeing perfectly, by the help of reason, 
what good is, and what ill, you may 
prove whether that which is from reve- 



LETTER LXXXIL 

Frotn the same to the sajjie. 

May 5, 1709. 
I A3I mightily satisfied with your writing 
to me as you do : pray continue. 

I like your judgment and thoughts on 
the books you mention ; the bishop of 
Salisbury's Exposition of the Articles is, 
no doubt, highly worthy of your study. 
None can better explain tiie sense of the 
church, than one who is the greatest pil- 
lar of it since the first founders ; one who 
best explained and asserted the Reforma- 
tion itself, was chiefly instrumental in 
saving it from popery before and at the 
Revolution, and is now the truest ex- 
ample of laborious, primitive, pious, 
and learned episcopacy. Tlie antidote, 
indeed, recommended to you, was very 
absurd, as you remark yourself; and pray 
have little to do with controversy of any 
sort. 

N2 



180 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



Chilling'worth against Popery is suffi- 
<iieiit reading- for you, and Avill teach you 
the best manner of that polemic divinity. 
It is enough to read what is good ; and 
what you find bad lay aside. The good 
you read will be a sufficient prevention 
and anticipation against any evil that 
may chance come across you impercep- 
tibly. Fill yourself with good ; and you 
will carry within you sufficient answer 
to the bad ; and by a sort of instinct 
soon discern the one from the other. 

Trust your own heart whilst you keep 
it honest, and can lift it up to the God 
of truth, as seeking that, and that only. 
But keep yourself from wrangling, and a 
controversial spirit ; for more harm is 
taken by a fierce, sour answer to an ill 
book, than from the book itself 5 be it ever 
so ill. Therefore remember, I charge 
you to avoid controversial writers. 

If the ancients in their purity are as 
yet out of your reach, search the mo- 
derns that are nearest to them. If you 
cannot converse with the most ancient, 
use the most modern. For the authors 
of the middle age, and all that sort of 
philosophy, as well as divinity, will be 
of little advantage to you. Gain the 
purity of the English, your OAvn tongue ; 
and read whatever is esteemed polite or 
well writ that comes abroad. You may 
give me an account of this. 

Meanwhile I am glad you read those 
modern divines of our nation who lived 
in this age, and were remarkable for mo- 
deration, and the Christian principle of 
charity and toleration. 

Do as your genius directs you ; and if 
you are virtuous and good, your genius 
will guide you right. But whatever it 
be, either ancient or modera, that you 
choose or read ; or however you change 
your opinion or course of study ; com- 
municate, and you shall be heard will- 
ingly, and advised the best I am able. 

I think your genius has dictated right 
to you about a little pamphlet, which, 
it seems, is commonly sold with the re- 
flections lately writ upon it ; which, if 
short, I would not for once debar you 
from, but have you hear what is said in 
answer, lest you should seem to yourself 
mistaken or diffident as to the truth. 
For my own part, I cannot but think 
from my heart, that the author of the 
pamphlet (whatever air of humour he 
may give himself, the better to take with 
the polite world) is most sincere to vir- 



tue and religion, and even to the interest 
of our church. For many of our modern 
asserters of toleration have seemed to 
leave us destitute of what he calls a 
public leading, or ministry ; which no- 
tion he treats as mere enthusiasm, or 
horrid irreligion . For, in truth , religion 
cannot be left thus to shift for itself, 
without the care and countenance of the 
magistrate. But in the remarks, or re- 
flections, I find the answerers are so far 
from understanding this plain sense of a 
leading, that they think it means only a 
leading by the nose. So excellent are 
these gentlemen at improving ridicule 
against themselves. They care not who 
defends religion, or how it is defended, 
if it be not in their way. They cry out 
upon a deluge of scepticism breaking 
out and overwhelming us, in this witty 
knowing age ; and yet they will allow 
no remedy proper in the case, no appli- 
cation to the world in a more genteel, 
polite, open, and free way. They for 

their parts (witness Dr. A y against 

the good Mr. H y) have asserted 

virtue upon baser principles, and more 
false and destructive by far, than Epi- 
curus, Democritus, Aristippus, or any of 
the ancient atheists. They have sub- 
verted all morality, all grounds of ho- 
nesty, and supplanted the whole doctrine 
of our Saviour, under pretence of mag- 
nifying his revelation. In philosophy 
they give up all foundations, all princi-^ 
pies of society, and the very best argu- 
ments to prove the being of a Deity. 
And, by the way, this pamphlet, which 
they are so offended at, is so strong on 
this head, that the author asserts the 
Deity even on the foundations of his in- 
nate idea, and the power of this notion 
even over atheists themselves, and by the 
very concession of Epicurus and that sect. 
But no more now. Continue to inform 
me of your reading and of new books : 
and God be with you. 



LETTER LXXXIII. 

Lord Shaftesbury to 



J)ecember 30, 1709. 

I HEARTILY approvcd your method and 
design, and continue to do so. Get what 
you can of the Greek language : it is the 
fountain of all ; not only of polite learn- 
ing and philosophy, but of divinity also, 



8ect. II. 



M D E R N, OF EARLY DATE. 



181 



as being the language of our sacred ora- 
cles. For even the Old Testament is in 
its best and truest language in the Sep- 
tuagint. All that you can get of leisure 
from other exercise and the required 
school-learning, apply to Greek. 

The few good books of our divines 
and moralists, which you have discovered 
by your own sagacity, will serve you both 
for language and thought. 

Dr. More's Enchiridion Etldcuiii is a 
right good piece of sound morals ; though 
the doctor himself, in other English 
pieces, could not abide by it, but made 
different excursions into other regions, 
and was perhaps as great an enthusiast 
as any of those whom he wrote against. 
However, he was a learned and a good 
man. 

Remember my former cautions and 
recommendations, and endeavour above 
all things to avoid the conceit and pride 
which is almost naturally inherent to the 
function and calling you are about to 
undertake. And since we think fit to 
call it priesthood, see that it be of such 
a kind, as may not make you say or think 
of yourself in the presence of another, 
that you are holier than he. It is a so- 
lemn part ; but see and beware that the 
solemnity do not abuse you. And re- 
member, that He, whom you own to be 
your master and legislator, made no 
laws relating to civil power or interfer- 
ing with it. So that all the pre-emi- 
nence, wealth, or pension, which you re- 
ceive, or expect to receive, by help of this 
assumed character, is from the public, 
whence both the authority and profit 
is derived, and on Avliich it legally de- 
pends ; all other pretensions of priests 
being Jewish and heathenish, and in our 
state seditious, disloyal, and factious ; 
such as is that spirit which now reigns 
in our universities, and where the high- 
church-men (as they are called) are pre- 
valent. But to this (thank God) our 
parliament, interposing at this instant, 
gives a check,' by proceeding against 

Dr. S 1, and advancing Mr. H y, 

of v/hom I have often spoken to you. 

No more now ; but God bless your 
studies and endeavours. Never was more 
need of a spirit of moderation and Chris- 
tianity among those who are entering on 
the ministerial function : since the con- 
trary spirit has possessed almost the 
whole priesthood beyond all former fa- 
natics. God send you all true Chris- 



tianity, with that temper, life, and man- 
ners, which become it. Farewell. 



LETTER LXXXIV. 

From the same to the same. 

July 10, ]710. 

I BELIEVED indeed it was your expect- 
ing me every day at -^ * * *, that pre- 
vented your writing, since you received 
orders from the good bishop, my lord 
of Salisbury ; who, as he had done more 
than any man li\ang for the good and 
honour of the church of England and 
the reformed religion, so he now suffers 
more than any man from the tongues and 
slander of those ungrateful churchmen ; 
who may well call themselves by that 
single term of distinction, having no 
claim to that of Christianity or Protest- 
ant, since they have thrown off all the 
temper of the former, and all concern or 
interest with the latter. 

I hope whatever advice the great and 
good bishop gave you will sink deeply 
into your mind : and that your receiving 
orders from the hands of so worthy a 
prelate will be one of the circumstances 
which may help to insure your steadiness 
in honesty, good principles, moderation, 
and true Christianity ; which are now set 
at naught and at defiance by the far 
greater part and numbers of that body 
of clergy called the Church of England ; 
who no more esteem themselves a Pro- 
testant church, or in union with those of 
Protestant communion ; though they 
pretend to the name of Christian, and 
would have us judge of the spirit of 
Christianity from theirs : which God 
prevent ! lest good men should in 
time forsake Christianity through their 
means. 

As for my part of kindness and friend- 
ship to you, I shall be sufficiently recom- 
pensed, if you prove (as you have ever 
promised) a virtuous, pious, sober, and 
studious man, as becomes the solemn 
charge belonging to you. But you have 
been brought into the world, and (5ome 
into orders, in the worst times for in- 
solence, riot, pride, and presumption of 
clergymen that I ever knew, or have 
read of; though I have searched far into 
the characters of high churchmen from 
the first centuries, in which they grew 
to be dignified with crowns and purple. 



182 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



B< 



H. 



to the late times of our reformation, 
and to our present age. 

The thorough knowledge you have 
had of me, and the direction of all my 
studies and life to the promotion of reli- 
gion, virtue, and the good of mankind, 
will (I hope) he of some good example 
to you ; at least it will be a hinderance 
to your being seduced by infamies and 
calumnies ; such as are thrown upon the 
men called moderate, and in their style 
indiflferent in religion, heterodox, and 
heretical. 

I pray God to bless you in your new 
function with all the true virtue, humi- 
lity, moderation, and meekness, which 
becomes it. I am your hearty friend. 



LETTER LXXXV. 

Lojd Shaftesbury to Robert Molesworth, 
Esq. 

Chelsea, Sept. 30, 1708. 
Dear sir. 
Two reasons have made me delay an- 
swering yours ; I was in hopes of seeing 
our great lord, and I depended on Mr. 
Micklethwayt's presenting you with my 
services, and informing you of all mat- 
ters public and private. The queen is 
but just come to Kensington, and my 
lord* to town. He promised to send 
me word, and appoint me a time, when 
he came. But I should have prevented 
him, had it been my weather for town 
visits. But having owed the recovery of 
my health to the method I have taken 
of avoiding the town smoke, 1 am kept 
at a distance, and like to be removed 
even from hence in a little while : 
though I have a project of staying 
longer here than my usual time, by re- 
moving now and then cross the water, 
to my friend sir John Cropley's in Sur- 
rey, where my riding and airing recruits 
me. I am highly rejoiced, as you may 
believe, that I can find myself able to do 
a little more public service, than what 
of late years I have been confined to, 
in my country : and I own the circum- 
stances of a court were never so inviting 
to me, as they have been since a late 
view I have had of the best part of our 
ministry. It may perhaps have added 

* The earl of Godolphin, tlicn lord trea- 
surer. 



more of confidence and forwardness in 
my way of courtship, to be so incapaci- 
tated as I am from taking any thing 
there for myself. But I hope I may 
convince some persons, that it is possi- 
ble to serve disinterestedly ; and that 
obligations already received (though on 
the account of others) are able to bind 
as strongly as the ties of self-interest. 

I had resolved to stay till I had one 
conference more with our lordf before 
I writ to you : but a letter, which I have 
this moment received from Mr. Mickle- 
thwayt, on his having waited on you in 
the country, has made me resolve to 
write thus hastily (without missing to- 
night's post) to acknowledge, in the 
friendliest and freest manner, the kind 
and friendly part you have taken in my 
private interests. If I have ever endured 
any thing for the public, or sacrificed 
any of my youth, or pleasures, or inter- 
ests to it, I find it is made up to me in 
the good opinion of some few : and per- 
haps one such friendship as yours may 
counterbalance all the malice of my 
worst enemies. It is true, what I once 
told you I had determined with myself, 
never to think of the continuance of a 
family, or altering the condition of life 
that was most agreeable to me, whilst I 
had (as I thought) a just excuse : but 
that of late I had yielded to niy friends, 
and allowed them to dispose of me, if 
they thought that by this means I could 
add any thing to the poAver or interest I 
had to serve them or .my country. I 
was afraid, however, that I should be so 
heavy andunactive in this affair, that my 
friends would hardly take me to be in 
earnest. But though it be so lately that 
I have taken my resolution, and that you 
were one of the first who knew it, I have 
on a sudden such an affair thrown across 
me, that I am confident I have zeal 
enough raised in me to hinder you from 
doubting whether I sincerely intend what 
I profess. There is a lady whom chance 
has thrown into my neighbourhood, and 
whom I never saw till the Sunday before 
last, who is in every respect that very 
person I had ever framed a picture of 
from my imagination, when I wished the 
best for my own happiness in such a cir- 
cumstance. I had heard her character 
before ; and her education, and every 
circumstance beside, suited exactly, all 

f Earl of Godolphirio 



I 



Sect. II 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



183 



but her fortune. Had she but a ten 
thousand pounds, my modesty would 
allow me to apply without reserve, where 
it was proper. And I would it were in 
my power, without injury to the lady, 
to have her upon those terms, or lower. 
I flatter myself too, by all appearance, 
that the father has long" had and yet re- 
tains some regard for me ; and that the 
disappointments he has had in some 
higher friendships may make him look 
as low as on me, and imagine me not 
wholly unworthy of his relation. But, 
if by any interest I had, or could possi- 
bly make with the father, I should in- 
duce him to bestow his daughter, per- 
haps with much less fortune (since I 
would gladly accept her so) than what 
in other places he would have bestowed, 
I shall draw a double misfortune on the 
lady ; unless she has goodness enough 
to think, that one who seeks her for 
what he counts better than a fortune, 
may possibly by his worth or virtue make 
her sufficient amends. And were I but 
encouraged to hope or fancy this, I 
would begin my offers to-morrow ; and 
should have greater hopes, tliat my dis- 
interestedness would be of some service 
to me in this place, as matters stand. 

You see my scruple ; and being used 
to me, and knowing my odd temper (for 
I well know you believe it no affecta- 
tion), you may be able to relieve me, 
and have the means in your hands : for 
a few words with one, who has the ho- 
nour to be your relation, would resolve 
me in this affair. I cannot stir in it till 
then, and should be more afraid of my 
good fortune than my bad, if it should 
hap])en to me to prevail Avith a father for 
whom the lady has so true a duty, that, 
even against her inclination, she would 
comply with any thing he required. I 
am afraid it will be impossible for you to 
read, or make sense of, what I write thus 
hastily: but I fancy with myself, I make 
you the greater confidence, in trust- 
ing to my humour and first thought, 
without staying till I have so much as 
formed a reflection. 1 am sure there is 
hardly anyone besides you, I should lay 
myself thus open to ; but I am secure in 
your friendship, which I rely on (for ad- 
vice) in this affair. I beg to hear from 
you in answer by the first post, being, 
with great sincerity, your faithful friend 
and humble servant. 



LETTER LXXXVI 

Fi'om the same to the same. 

Beachwoith, in Surrey, Oct. 12, 17; 8. 

Dear sir, 
From the hour I liad writ you that 
hasty letter from Chelsea I was in pain 
till I had heard from you ; and could not 
but often wish I had not writ in that 
hurry and confusion. But since I have 
received yours in answer, I have all the 
satisfaction imaginable. I see so sincere 
a return of friendship, that it cannot any 
more concern me to have laid myself so 
open. 

I would have a friend see me at the 
worst ; and it is a satisfaction to find, 
that if one's failures or weaknesses were 
greater than really they are, one should 
still be cherished, and be supplied even 
with good sentiments and discretion, 
when they were wanting. One tiling only 
I beg you would take notice of, that 1 
had never any thoughts of applying to 
the young lady before I applied to the 
father. My morals are rather too strict 
to let me have tiiken such an advantage, 
had it been ever so fairly offered. But 
my drift was, to learn whether there 
had been an inclination to any one be- 
fore me ; for many offers had been, and 
some I know very great, vdtliin these 
few months. And though the duty of 
the daughter might have acquiesced in 
the dislike of the father, so as not to 
shew any discontent ; yet there might 
be something of this lying at the heart, 
and so strongly, that my application and 
success (if I had any) might be looked on 
with an ill eye, and cause a real trouble. 
This vvould have caused it, I am sure, in 
me ; when I should have come, perhaps 
too late, to have discovered it. But there 
is nothing of this in the case, by all that 
I can judge or learn. Never did I hear 
of a creature so perfectly resigned to 
duty, so innocent in herself, and so con- 
tented imder those means which have 
kept and still keep her so innocent as to 
the vanities and vices of the world ; 
though with real good parts, and im- 
provement of them at home ; for of this 
my lord has wisely and handsomely taken 
care. Never was any thing so unfortu- 
nate for me, as that she should be such 
a fortune ; for that I know is wliat every 
body will like, and I perhaps have tlie 
worst relish of, and least deserve. The* 



184 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



other qualities I should prize more than 
any, and the generality of mankind, in- 
stead of prizing would he apt to con- 
temn ; for want of air and humour, and 
the wit of general conversation, and 
the knowledge of the town, and fashions, 
and diversions, are unpardonable dul- 
nesses ■ in young wives ; who are taken 
more as companions of pleasure, and to 
he shewn abroad as beauties in the world, 
than to raise families, and support the 
honour and interest of those they are 
joined to. 

But to shew you that I am not want- 
ing to myself, since your encouraging 
and advising letter, 1 have begun my 
application, by what you well call the 
right end*. You shall hear with what 
success, as soon as I know myself. I 
could both be bolder and abler in the ma- 
nagement of the affair, and could pro- 
mise myself sure success, had I but a 
constitution that would let me act for 
myself, and bustle in and about that 
town which, by this winter season com- 
ing on so fiercely, is by this time in 
such a cloud of smoke, that I can nei- 
ther be in it nor near it. I stayed but 
a day or two too long at Chelsea, after 
the setting in of these east and north- 
east winds, and I had like to have fallen 
into one of my short-breathing fits, 
which would have ruined me. But by 
flying hither and keeping my distance, 
I keep my health, but (I may well fear) 
shall lose my mistress. For who ever 
courted at this rate ? Did matters lie so 
as to the fortune, that I could be the 
obliging side, it might go on with toler- 
able grace ; and so 1 fear it must be, 
whenever I marry, or else am likely to 
remain a bachelor. 

However, you can never any more 
arraign my morals after this. You can 
never charge me, as you .have done, for 
a remissness and laziness, or an indul- 
gence to my own ways, and love of re- 
tirement ; which (as you thought) might 
have me made averse to undertake the 
part of wife and children, though my 
country or friends ever so much required 
it of me. You see it will not be my 
fault ; and you shall find I will not act 
booty for myself. If I have any kind of 
success at this right end, I will then beg 
to use the favour of your interest in your 
cousin, as I shall then mention to you ; 

^- The father. 



but instead of setting me off for other 
things, I would most earnestly beg that 
you would speak only of your long and 
thorough knowledge of me, and (if you 
think it true) of my good temper, ho- 
nesty, love of my relations and country, 
sobriety and virtue. For these I hope 1 
may stand to as far as I am possessed of 
them. They will not, I hope, grow 
worse as I grov/ older. For though I 
can promise little of my regimen, by 
which I hold my health ; I am per- 
suaded to think no vices will grow upon 
me, as I manage myself; for in this I 
have been ever sincere, to make myself 
as good as I was able, and to live for no 
other end. 

1 am ashamed to have writ such a long 
letter about myself, as if I had no con- 
cern for the public ; though I may truly 
say to you, if I had not the public in 
view, I should hardly have these thoughts 
of changing my condition at this time of 
day, that I can better indulge myself in 
the ease of a single and private life. The 
weather, which is so unfortunate for me 
by these settled east winds, keeps the 
country dry ; and if they are the same 
(as is likely) in Flanders, I hope ere 
this Lisle is ours, which has cost us 
so dear, and held us in such terrible 
anxiety. 

-I have been to see lord treasurer that 
little while he was in town, but could 
not find him. 

Pray let me hear in your next, what 
time you think of coming up*. I shall 
be glad to hear soon from you again. 
Wishing you delight and good success 
in your country affairs, and all happi- 
ness and prosperity to your family, I re- 
main, dear sir, your obliged friend and 
faithful humble servant. 

Sir John Cropley, with whom I am 
here, presents his humble service to you. 

LETTER LXXXVIL 

Lord Shafiesbuiy to Robert Molesworth^ 

Esq. 

Beachworth, in Surrey, Oct. 23, 1708. 

Dear sir. 

You guessed right as to the winds, 

which are still easterly, and keep me 

here in winter-quarters, from all public 

* From Edlington, a seat the lord Moles- 
worth had in Yorkshire. 



Sect. 11. 



MODERN, OF E A U L Y DAT 11. 



185 



and private affairs. I have neither seen 
lord treasurer, nor been at Chelsea* to 
prosecute my own affair ; though as for 
this latter, as great as my zeal is, I am 
forced to a stand. I was beforehand 
told, that as to the lord, he was in some 
measure engaged ; and the return I had 
from him, on my application, seemed to 
imply as much. On the other side I 
have had reason to hope, that the lady, 
who had before bemoaned herself for 
being destined to greatness without vir- 
tue, had yet her choice to make ; and, 
after her escapes, sought for nothing so 
much as sobriety and a strict virtuous 
character. How much more still this 
adds to my zeal you may believe ; and by 
all hands I have received the highest cha- 
racter of your relation, who seems to 
have inspired her with these and other 
good sentiments, so rare in her sex 
and degree. My misfortune is, I have 
no friend in the world by whom I can in 
the least engage, or have access to your 
relation, but only by yourself; and I 
have no hopes of seeing you soon, or of 
your having any opportunity to speak 
of me to her. If a letter could be pro- 
per, I should fancy it more so at this time 
than any other ; provided you would 
found it on the common report which is 
abroad, of my being in treaty for that 
lady. This might give you an occasion 
of speaking of me as to that part which 
few besides can know so well — I mean 
my heart ; which, if she be such as really 
all people allow, will not displease her to 
hear so well of, as perhaps in friendship 
and from old acquaintance you may re- 
present. If the person talked of be 
really my rival, and in favour with the 
father, I must own my case is next to 
desperate ; not only because I truly think 
him, as the world goes, likely enough to 
make a good (at least a civil) husband ; 
but because as my aim is not fortune, 
and his is, he being an old friend too, I 
should unwillingly stand between him 
and an estate ; which his liberality has 
hitherto hindered him from gaining, as 
great as his advantages have been hi- 
therto in the government. By what I 
have said, I believe you may guess who 
my supposed rival is f ; or if you want a 
farther hint, it is one of the chief of the 

* He had a pretty retreat at Little Chelsea, 
which he fitted up according to his own fancy. 

f Charles Montague, late earl of Halifax. 



Junto, an old friend of yours and mine^ 
whom we long sat with in the House of 
Commons (not often voted with), but 
who was afterwards taken up to a higher 
house ; and is as much noted for wit and 
gallantry, and magnificence, as for his 
eloquence and courtier's character. But 
whether this be so suited to this meek 
good lady's happiness, I know not. Fear 
of partiality and self-love makes me not 
dare determine, but rather mistrust my- 
self, and turn the balance against me. 
Pray keep this secret, for I got it by 
chance ; and if there be any thing in it, 
it is a great secret between the two lords 
themselves. But sometimes I fancy it 
is a nail which will hardly go, though I 
am pretty certain it has been aimed at 
by this old acquaintance of ours, ever 
since a disappointment happened from a 
great lord beyond sea, who was to have 
had the lady. 

Nothing but the sincere friendship you 
shew for me could make me to continue 
thus to impart my privatest affairs : and 
in reality, though they seem wholly pri- 
vate and selfish, I will not be ashamed to 
own the honesty of my heart to you ; in 
professing that the public has much the 
greatest part in all this bustle I am en- 
gaging in. You have lately made me 
believe, and even proved too by expe- 
rience, that I had some interest in the 
world ; and there, where I least dreamt 
of it, with great men in power. I had 
always something of an interest in my 
country, and with the plain honest peo- 
ple : and sometimes I have experienced 
both here, at home, and abroad, where I 
have long lived, and made acquaintance 
(in Holland especially), that with a plain 
character of honesty and disinterested- 
ness, I have on some occasions, and in 
dangerous urgent times of the public, 
been able to do some good. If the in- 
crease of my fortune be the least motive 
in this affair before me (as sincerely 1 do 
not find), I will venture to say, it can 
only be in respect of the increase of my 
interest, which I may have in my coun- 
try in order to serve it. 

One who has little notion of magni- 
ficence, and less of pleasure and luxury, 
has not that need of riches which otliers 
have. And one who prefers tranquillity ^ 
and a little study, and a few friends, to 
all other advantages of life, and all the 
flatteries of ambition and fame, is not like 
to be naturally so very fond of engaging 



186 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book II. 



in the circumstances of marriage : I do 
not go swimmingly to it, I assure you ; 
nor is the great fortune a great bait. 
Sorry I am, that nobody with a less for- 
tune, or more daughters, has had the 
wit to order such an education. A very 
moderate fortune had served my turn ; 
or perhaps quality alone, to have a little 
justified me, and kept me in countenance 
had I chose so humbly. But now that 
which is rich ore, and would have been 
the most estimable had it been bestowed 
on me, will be mere dross, and flung away 
on others, who will pity and despise 
those very advantages which I prize so 
much. But this is one of the common- 
places of exclamation, against the distri- 
bution of things in this world ; and, upon 
my word, whoever brought up the pro- 
verb, it is no advantageous one for a 
Providence to say, " Matches are made 
in heaven." I believe rather in favour 
of Providence, that there is nothing 
which is so merely fortune, and more 
committed to the power of blind chance. 
So I must be contented, and repine the 
less at my lot, if I am disappointed in 
such an affair. If I satisfy my friends 
that I am not wanting to myself, it is 
sufficient. I am sure you know it, by 
the sound experience of all this trouble I 
have given and am still like to give you. 
Though I confess myself, yet even in 
this too I do but answer friendship, as 
being so sincerely and affectionately 
your most faithful friend and humble 
servant. 



LET^PER LXXXVIII. 

Lord S/iaficsbiay to R. Molesivorth, Esq. 
Beachworth, Nov. 4, 1708. 

Dear sir, 
1 WAS at Chelsea when 1 received yours 
with the enclosed, and was so busied 
in the employment you had given me, by 
your encouragement and kind assistance 
in a certain affair, that I have let pass 
two posts without returnhig you thanks, 
for the greatest marks of your friendship 
that any one can possibly receive. Indeed 
I might well be ashamed to receive them 
in one sense, since the character you 
have given of me* is so far beyond what 
I dare think suitable ; though in these 

* This relates to a letter the lord Moles- 
worth had written in his favour. 



cases, one may better perhaps give way 
to vanity than in any other. But though 
friendship has made you over favourable, 
there is one truth, however, which your 
letter plainly carries with it, and must do 
me service. It shews that I have a real 
and passionate friend in you ; and to have 
deserved such a friendship, must be be- 
lieved some sort of merit. I do not say 
this as aiming at a fine speech, but in 
reality, where one sees so little friendshi}) 
and of so short continuance, as com- 
monly in mankind it must be, one would 
think, even in the sex's eye, a pledge of 
constancy, fidelity, and other merit, to 
have been able to engage and preserve so 
lasting and firm a friendship with a man 
of worth. So that you see, I can find 
a way to reconcile myself to all you have 
said in favour of me, allowing it to have 
been spoken in passion ; and in this re- 
spect the more engaging with the sex ; 
who are as good or better judges than we 
ourselves of the sincerity of affection. 

But in the midst of my courtship came 
an east wind, and with the tOAvn smoke 
did my business, or at least would have 
done it efl'ectually, had I not fled hither 
with what breath I had left. Indeed I 
could have almost laughed at my own 
misfortune ; there is something so odd in 
my fortune and constitution. You may 
think me melancholy if you will. I 
own there was a time in public affairs 
when I really was ; for, saving yourself, 
and perhaps one or two more (I speak 
the most), I had none that acted with me, 
against the injustice and corruption of 
both parties ; each of them inflamed 
against me, particularly one, because of 
my birth and principles ; the other, be- 
cause of my pretended apostasy, which 
was only adhering to those principles on 
which their party was founded. There 
have been apostates indeed since that 
time. But the days are long since past 
that you and I were treated as Jacobitesf. 
What to say for some companions of ours, 
as they are now changed J, I know not : 



f The truly apostate Whigs, who became 
servile and arbitrary to please court empirics, 
branded all those as Jacobites who adhered to 
those very principles that occasioned and jus- 
fied the revolution. 

X Here he means some who voted with him 
in his favourite bills, and who were originally 
Whigs ; but out of pique and disappointment, 
became, if not real Jacobites (which was 
scarce possible), yet in effect as bad, by pro- 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



187 



but as to my own particular, I assure you, 
that since those sad days of the public, 
which might have helped on perhaps with 
that melancholy or spleen which you fear 
in me, and for certain have helped me 
to this ill state of health ; I am now, how- 
ever, as free as possible ; and even in re- 
spect of my health too, excepting only 
the air of London, I am, humanly speak- 
ing, very passable ; but gallantly speak- 
ing, and as a courtier of the fair sex, God 
knows I may be very far from passing. 
And I have that sort of stubbornness and 
wilfulness (if that be spleen) that I can- 
not bear to set a better face on the mat- 
ter than it deserves ; so 1 am like to be 
an iU courtier, for the same reason that 
I am an ill jockey. It is impossible for 
me to conceal my horse's imperfections 
or my own, where I mean to dispose of 
either. I think it unfair ; so that could 
any quack, by a peculiar medicine, set 
me up for a month or two, enough to 
go through with my courtship, I would 
not accept his offer, unless I could mira- 
culously be made v/hole. Now for a 
country health and a town neighbour- 
hood, I am sound and well ; but for a 
town life, whether it be for business or 
diversion, is out of my compass. 

I say all this, that you may know my 
true state, and how desperate a man you 
serve, and in how desperate a case. 
Should any thing come of it, the fi'iend- 
ship will appear the greater ; or if no- 
thing, the friendship will appear the 
same still, as to me myself. Your let- 
ter was delivered ; I hope you will hear 
soon in answer to it. The old lord con- 
tinues wonderfully kind to me, and I 
hear has lately spoken of me so to others. 
Our public affairs at home will be much 
changed by the late death of the prince*. 
But I have been able to see nobody ; 
so will not attempt to write, and will 
end here with the assurance of my be- 
ing, dear sir, your most obliged and 
faithful friend and servant. 

LETTER LXXXIX. 

Fro7n the same to the sa?)ie. 

St. Giles's, March 7, 1708-9. 
Dear sir, 
I SHOULD indeed have been concerned 

moling all the designs peculiar to that despe- 
rate party. 

* The prince of Denmark. 



very much at your silence, had I not 
known of your health by your friends 
and mine, with whom you lately dined. 
I feared your constitution would suffer by 
this extremity of weather we have had. 
The town smoke, I think, is no addition 
to this evil in your respect ; but with me 
it would have been destruction. The 
happiness of a most healthy and warm, as 
Aveli as pleasant situation where I am, and 
Avhicli I may really praise beyond any I 
have known in England, has preserved 
me in better health this winter than I 
could have imagined. And I design to 
profit of the stock I have laid up, and 
come soon where I may have the happi- 
ness of conversing with you. But now 
you have led me into the talk of friend- 
ship, and have so kindly expostulated with 
me about my thanks, let me in my turn 
expostulate too about your excuses for 
your letters, or even for your omission. 
I well know you would not forget me, 
were there any thing that friendship re- 
quired. For the rest, friendship requires 
that we should be easy, and make each 
other so. It is an injustice to a real friend 
to deny one's self the being lazy, when 
one has a mind to it. I have professed 
to you, that I take that liberty myself, 
and would use it if there were occasion. 
But besides other inequalities that are 
between us, over and above those you 
reckoned up, consider that, together with 
my full leisure and retreat here in the 
country (by which means I have choice 
of hours to write when I fancy), I have 
also a secret and private interest that 
pushes me forward to be writing to you 
as often and as much as I can. I am 
ashamed things should stand so unequally 
between us ; for yoa have not yet had a 
fair trial, what a correspondent I should 
prove upon equal terms, nor can I im- 
pute a single letter of mine to mere 
friendship. But I am more ashamed 
still, when I, who should make excuses, 
am forced to receive them. See if you 
are not over-generous ! for any one be- 
sides yourself would be apt to use a little 
raillery with a man in my circumstances, 
that had such an affair depending, and 
wholly in your hands. But I find you 
have too much gallantry, as well as 
friendship, to take the least advantage of 
a lover ; and are vvilling to place more to 
the account of friendship than I can suf- 
fer without blushing. However, be se- 



188 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book U. 



cure of this, that when you take inten- 
tions instead of facts, you can never im- 
pute more to me in the way of friend- 
ship than I really deserve. And if I 
have not yet had the occasion of proving 
myself as I would do to you in this re- 
pect, I am satisfied, if the occasion of- 
fered, you would not find me remiss : in 
the mean time, pray use me with more 
indulgence, and shew me that you can 
use me as a friend, by writing only when 
you have a fancy, and ho more than you 
have a fancy for. You cannot imagine 
what a favour I should take it to receive 
a shorter and a worse letter from you, 
than you would write perhaps to any 
friend you had in the world besides. It 
is a law I set myself with my near and 
intimate friends to write in every hu- 
mour, or neglect writing, as I fancy ; 
and from this settled negligence I grow 
a right correspondent, and write when 
I scarce think of it, by making thus 
free with those I write to : if you will 
take my humour as it runs, you shall 
have hearty thanks too into the bar- 
gain, for taking it off at this rate. Let 
me but have a small scrap or scrawl 
(three or four sizes below the first of 
your letters, after the late conference), 
and I shall think myself not only fa- 
vourably, but kindly and friendly dealt 
with. 



Nardi parvus onyx elide t caelum. 

Hor. Lib. 4. Od. 12. ver. 17. 



The truth is, I long for another such 
precious scrap as I had after your first 
attempt for me ; that if you are as suc- 
cessful in a second, and find that your 
good advice has made impression, and 
that there be a real foundation of hope, 
I may come up quickly to make my se- 
cond attempt upon my old friend. 

Your story of friendship could not but 
delight me, it being one of my darling 
pieces * ; especially being in an author, 
who, though he perpetually does all he 
can to turn all morality and virtue into 
ridicule, is yet forced to pay this, and 
one or two more remarkable tributes of 
acknowledgment, to the principle of so- 
ciety and friendship, which is the real 
principle of life, the end of life, and 

* This story, which is well worth perusing, 
is in Lucian's Toxaris, or discourse of friend- 



ship. 



not (as some philosophers would have it) 
the means. Horace in his wild days was 
of another opinion ; but when he came 
in a riper age to state the question, 

Quiche ad amicitias, usus rectumve, trahnt nos f 
Hor. Lib. 2. Sat. 6. ver. 75. 

he always gives it for the latter, and 
would not allow virtue to be a mere 
name. Let who will despise friendship, 
or deny a social principle, they will, if 
they are any thing ingenuous, be urged 
one time or another to confess the power 
of it ; and if they enjoy it not themselves, 
will admire or envy it in others. And 
when they have inverted the whole mat- 
ter of life, and made friendships, and ac- 
quaintances, and alliances serve only as a 
means to the great and sole end of inter- 
est, they will find, by certain tokens, 
within their own breasts, that they are 
short of their true and real interests of 
life, for this is in reality. 

Propter vitam vivendi perdere causas. 

Your judgment, too, of the first of the 
parts in the story of friendship, is in my 
opinion perfectly just. My natural am- 
bition in friendship made me wish to be 
the poor man rather of the two, though 
since I have lately had to deal with a 
rich one, I have wished often to change 
parts ; and keeping the wealth I have, 
would fain have my old friend to be 
heartily poor, and accordingly make an 
experiment of me by such a legacy. But 
I am afraid he hardly thinks me capable 
of accepting of it ; or if he did, I know 
not whether he would think the more fa- 
vourably of me. Mine is a hard case in- 
deed, when I am on one side obliged to 
act so disinterested a part ; and yet must 
be careful on the other side, lest, for not 
loving money, I should be thought an ill 
son-in-law, and unfit to be intrusted with 
any thing. Thus you see I mix love and 
philosophy, and so I should politics and 
public affairs with private, if my place 
at this time was not the country and 
yours the town. However, I cannot 
forbear entreating you to send me word 
whether the proposal about Dunkirk '^ 
was from our friend in the ministry or 
not, for I heard he disliked it, or seemed 

f The demolishing of its fortifications and 
ruining of its harbour, which was first pro- 
posed in the unaccomplished treaties of the 
Hague and Gertruydenburgh, 1703. 



Sect. 11 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



IS9 



to do so ; and for the last there may he 
g-ood reason, as he is a statesman ; for the 
former, I can see none, hut am rather 
inclined to think, that as a generous and 
true statesman, he had for many reasons 
(in respect of foreign and home affairs) 
contrived that the proposal should seem 
tfl have its rise from a popular heat, ra- 
ther than from the cahinet council, and 
as a deliberate thought. But if my own 
thought of it be fond, it is in the way of 
friendship stiU ; for I could wish a friend 
the happiness of being author of every 
public good that was possible for him, 
and not to be a hinderance or obstruc- 
tion to any. 

To conclude, one Avord about my pri- 
vate affair, and I have done for this time. 
I beg you, when you have been your vi- 
sits, and made your utmost effort to see 
what foundation I may hope for, you 
would write me a line instantly. For 
though I have private affairs of some 
consequence, that should keep me here 
at least a month or six weeks longer, I 
will despise all of that kind ; and now 
the roads are passable and weather to- 
lerable, wiUcome up at a week's warning ; 
if a man, who loves and admires, is known 
though never seen, can possibly be fa- 
voured or thought to deserve. For if so, 
the cause is nobler, and there is a better 
foundation for acting boldly. Adieu, 
adieu. 

LETTER XC. 

Lord Shaftesbury to R. Molesiuorih, Esq. 

Beachworth, Sept. 3, 1708. 

Dear sir. 
It is now long since I had fixed my 
thoughts OJi nothing but the happiness 
of seeing you, and profiting of those ad- 
vantages which the perfectest friendship, 
with the greatest address, and indefatiga- 
ble pains, had compassed in my behalf. 
There was nothing I might not have 
hoped from such a foundation as you had 
laid ; and all the enchantments in the 
world could not have held proof, had my 
sad fate allowed me but to have followed 
my guide, and executed what my general 
had so ably designed. But not a star, 
but has been my enemy. I had hardly 
got over the unnatural winter, but with 
all the zeal imaginable I dispatched my 
affairs and came up from the west, think- 
ing to surprise you by a visit. The hurry 



I came away in, and the fatigue of more 
than ordinary business I was forced to 
dispatch that very morning I set out, 
joined with the ill weather which returned 
again upon my journey, threw me into 
one of my ill fits of the asthma, and al- 
most killed me on the road. After a few 
weeks I got this over, and my hopes re- 
vived ; and last week I Avent to Chelsea, 
paid my visit next day to the old man, 
found him not at home, resolved to re- 
double my visits, and once more endea- 
vour to move him. But the Avinds re- 
turned to their old quarter, I had Lon- 
don smoke on me for a day or two, grew 
extremely ill with it, and was forced to 
retire hither, Avhere I have but just re- 
covered breath. 

^\liat shall I do in such a case ? To 
trouble you further I am ashamed t 
ashamed too that I should have pushed 
such an affair to which my strength was 
so little suitable ; and yet ashamed to de- 
sist, after what I have done, and the vast 
trouble I have put you to. But fortime 
has at length taught me tliat lesson of 
philosophy, " to know myself," my con- 
stitution I mean ; for my mind (in this 
respect at least) I know fuU well. And 
I Avish in all other things I could be as 
unerring and perfect as I have been in 
this affair, in which I am certain no am- 
bition, or thought of interest, has had 
any part ; though it may look as if all 
my aim had been fortune, and not the 
person and character of the lady, as I 
have pretended. But in this I dare al- 
most say Avith assurance, you know my 
heart. Whether the lady does, or ever 
aatII, God knoAvs ; for I have scarce the 
heart left to teU it her, had I the oppor- 
tunity. 

So much for my sad fortune. 

I hope however to be at Chelsea again 
in a few days, and I long for the happi- 
ness of seeing you there ; for I have no 
hopes of being able to wait on you at 
your lodgings. 

If the queen goes soon to Windsor, I 
hope soon to see the great man, our 
friend, whom I can easier visit there 
than at St. James's. He has been so 
kind to inquire after me with particular 
favour, and has sent me a kind message 
in relation to public affairs. I am, dear 
sir, your most obliged friend and faith- 
ful humble servant. 



\90 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IF. 



LETTER XCL 

Lord Shaftesbury to R. Jlolesworth, Esq. 

Chelsea, June 15, 17(;9. 
My dear friend, 
1 WAS this day to wait again on my old 
lord. 1 found him as civil and obliging 
as ever. But when I came to make 
mention of my affair, I found the subject 
was uneasy to him. I did but take oc- 
casion, when he spoke in praise of my 
little house and study, to tell him I built 
it in a different view from what his 
lordship knew me to have of late ; for 
1 had then (I told him) no thoughts 
beyond a single life. I would have 
added, that since I was unhappy in my 
first offer, and had turned my thoughts 
as I had lately done, when I flattered 
myself in the hopes of his favour, I 
could no longer enjoy the place of his 
neighbourhood with the satisfaction I 
had done before. But I found he was 
deaf on this ear. He seemed to express 
all the uneasiness that could be, and I 
could go no further. I see there is no 
hope left for me. If he thought any one 
sincere, I believe I might be as likely as 
any one to be trusted by him. But I am 
afraid he thinks but the worse of me for 
pretending to value his daughter as I do, 
and for protesting that I would be glad 
to take her without a farthing, present 
or future, and yet settle all I have, as I 
have offered him. He will not easily find 
such a friend and son-in-law ; one that 
has such a regard for him and his. 

But so it must be. He may suffer 
perhaps as well as I. There is no help 
for this, when men are too crafty to see 
plain, and too interested to see their real 
friends and interest. I shall soon shew 
my sincerity in one respect, if I live ; 
for since I cannot have the woman I have 
seen and liked, I may determine perhaps 
on one I have never seen ; and take a 
lady for a character only without a for- 
tune (which I want not), since you and 
other friends are so kindly importunate 
and pressing on this concern of mine. 

But of this more when I see you next, 
with a thousand acknowledgments and 
thanks for the thorough friendship you 
have shewn ; and what is so truly friend- 
ship, that I almost think I injure it 
when I speak of thanks and acknowledg- 
ments. 

You will have mc take all of this k*nd 



in another manner ; and tlierefore, on 
the same foot, I expect you should take 
all that I have done, or ever can do, 
without ceremony, and as your faithful 
friend and humble servant. 



LETTER XCII. 

Fro?n the same to the same. 

BeachworUi, July 9, 1709. 
My dear friend, 
I CAN hardly be reconciled to you, for 
saying so much as you have done, to 
express your concern for the disappoint- 
ment of my grand affair. I am not so 
ill a friend, nor have lived so little in the 
world, as not to know by experience, 
that a disappointment in a friend's con- 
cern is often of more trouble to one than 
in one's own. And I was so satisfied 
this was your case, that I was willing 
to diminish the loss, and make as slight 
of it as possible, the better to comfort 
you, and prevent your being too much 
concerned at what had happened. As 
to the fortune, T might sincerely have 
done it ; but as to the lady, I own the 
loss is great enough : for, besides her 
character and education, she was the first 
I turned my thoughts upon after the 
promise you had drawn from me the 
year before, when you joined with some 
friends of mine in kindly pressing me to 
think of the continuance of a family. 
Methinks now I might be acquitted, 
after this attempt I have made. But 
you have taken occasion from the ill suc- 
cess of it to prove how much more still 
you are my friend, in desiring to make 
the most of me while I live, and keep 
what you can of me for memory sake 
afterwards. This is the kindest part in 
the world ; and I cannot bring myself so 
much as to suppose a possibility of your 
flattering me. I have an easy faith in 
friendship. My friends may dispose of 
me as they please, when they thus lay 
claim to me ; and whilst they find me of 
any use to them, or think I have any 
power still to serve mankind or my coun- 
try in such a sphere as is yet left for me, 
I can live as happy in a crazy state of 
health, and out of the way of pleasures 
and diversions, as if I enjoyed them in 
the highest degree. If marriage can be 
suitable to such a circumstance of life, I 
am content to engage. I must do my 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF E A R L Y D A T E. 



191 



best to render it agreeable to those I en- 
gage with; and my choice, I am sensi- 
ble , ought for this reason to be as you 
have wisely prescribed for me. 1 must 
resolve to sacrifice other advantages, to 
obtain what is principal and essential in 
my case. 

What other people will say of such a 
match, I know not ; nor what motive 
they will assign for it, v/lien interest is 
set aside. Love, I fear, will be scarce 
a tolerable pretence in such a one as I 
am : and for a family, I have a brother 
still alive, whom I may still have some 
hopes of. What a weakness then would 
it be thought in me, to marry with little 
or no fortune, and not in the highest 
degree of quality neither ! Will it be 
enough that I take a breeder out of a 
good family, with a right education, fit 
for a mere wife ; and with no advantage 
but simple innocence, modesty, and the 
j)lain qualities of a good mother and a 
good nurse ? This is as little the mo- 
dern relish as that old-fashioned wife of 
Horace's, 

Sabina quulis, a'lt perusta solihus 
Fernicis uxor Appuli. 

Epod. ii. ver. 41. 

Can you, or my friends, who press me 
to this, bear me out in it ? See, if with 
all the notions of virtue (which you, 
more than any one, have helped to pro- 
pagate in this age) it be possible to 
make such an affair pass tolerable in the 
world ! The experiment however shall 
be made, if I live out this summer ; and 
you shall hear me say, as the old ba- 
chelor in the Latin Menander, with a 
little alteration, 

Etsi hoc molestum, — atque aliemim a vita mca 
Videtnr; si vos tantopere ishic voids, jiut. 

Terent. Adelph. Act v. sc. viii. ver. 21. 

You see upon what foot of friendship 
I treat you. Judge whether it be ne- 
cessary for you hereafter to say much in 
order to convince me what a friend 
you are ; and for my own part, I have 
reduced you, I am confident, to the 
necessity of believing me either the 
most insincere of all men, or the 
most faithfully your friend and humble 
servant. 

I missed our great friend, when I was 
last to visit him at St. James's. I intend 
for Windsor very soon, if I am able. 



LETTER XCIII. 

From the same to the same. 

Ryegate in Surrey, Nov. 1, 1709. 
Dear sir, 
If I have had any real joy in any new 
state, it was then chiefly when I received 
yours that wished it me. The two or 
three friends whom, besides yourself, 
I pretend to call by that name, were so 
mucii parties to the affair, and so near 
me, that their part of congratulation was 
in a manner anticipated. Happily you 
were at a good distance and point de 
vue to see right ; for as little trust as I 
allow to the common friendship of the 
world, I am so presumptuous in this case 
of a near and intimate friend, that in- 
stead of mistrusting their affection, 1 am 
rather afraid of its rendering them too 
partial. The interest and part which I 
believe them ready to take in my concern, 
makes me wish them sometimes to see 
me (as they should do themselves) from 
a distance, and in a less favourable light. 
So that, although I have had godfathers 
to my match, I have not been confirmed 
till I had your approbation ; and though 
(thank God) I have had faith to believe 
myself a good Christian without episco- 
pal confirmation, I should have thought 
myself an ill husband, and but half mar- 
ried, if I had not received your concluding 
sentence and friendly blessing. In good 
earnest (for to you I am not ashamed to 
say it) I have for many years known no 
other pleasure, or interest, or satisfac- 
tion, in doing any thing, but as I thought 
it right, and what became me to my 
friends and country. Not that I think 
I had the less pleasure for this reason ; 
but honesty will always be thought a 
melancholy thing to those who go but 
half way into the reason of it, and are 
honest by chance or by force of nature, 
not by reason or conviction. Were I 
to talk of marriage, and forced to speak 
my mind plainly, and without the help 
of humour or raillery, I should doubtless 
offend the most part of sober married 
people, and the ladies chiefly ; for I should 
in reality think I did wonders in extolling 
the happiness of my new state, and the 
merit of my wife in particular, by saying, 
that I verily thought myself as happy a 
man now as ever. And is not that sub- 
ject enough of joy ? What would a man 
of sense wish more ? For my own part, 



192 



ELEGANT EPISTLES 



Book IL 



if 1 find any sincere joy, it is because I 
promised myself no other than the satis- 
faction of my friends, who thought my 
family worth preserving", and myself 
worth nursing in an indifferent crazy 
state, to which a wife (if a real good one) 
is a great help. Such a one I have 
found ; and if by her help or care I can 
regain a tolerable share of health, you 
may be sure it will be employed as you 
desire, since my marriage itself was but 
a means to that end. 

I have deferred three or four posts the 
:answering yours, in expectation of re- 
porting something to you from our great 
lord, to whom I had lately sent a letter ; 
he having before let me know that he 
would soon write to me upon something 
of moment ; but as yet I have heard no- 
thing. Only, as oft as he sees a friend 
^f ours, he inquires after me with a par- 
ticular kindness, I am now at such a 
convenient distance from him, whether 
he be at St. James's, Kensington, or Wind- 
sor, that when the weather and wind 
serje for me, and I am tolerably well, 
i can in four or five hours' driving be 
ready to attend him. Other attendance 
I am not, you know, capable of; nor 
can I expect such a change of health as 
that comes to ; for sincerely it depends 
on that alone. As proudly as I have 
carried my self to other ministers, I could 
as willingly pass a morning waiting at 
his levee as any where else in the world. 

When I was last with him at Windsor, 
you may be sure, I could not omit speak- 
ing to him of yourself. The time I had 
with him was much interrupted by com- 
pany. I know not how my interest, on 
such a foot as this, is like to grow ; but 
I am certain it shall not want any culti- 
vating, which an honest man, and in my 
circumstances, can possibly bestow upon 
it. If he has, or comes to have, any 
good opinion of my capacity or know- 
ledge, he must withal regard me in the 
choice I make of friends. And if it hap- 
pens, as fortunately it has done, that the 
chief friend I have, and the first whom 
I consider in public affairs, was previous- 
ly his own acquaintance and proved 
friend, one would think he should after- 
wards come to set a higher value upon 
him : and since he cannot have one 
always near him who gladly would be 
so, he will oblige another who is willing 
and able. And in reality, if at this time 
your coming up depends only on his wish 



(as you tell me) and the commands he 
may have for you, I shall much wonder 
if he forgets the advantage, or thinks he 
can dispense with your presence at such 
a time. 

Your character of lord Wharton is 
very generous. I am glad to hear so 
well of him. If ever I expected any 
public good where virtue was wholly 
sunk, it was in his character ; the most 
mysterious of any in my account, for this 
reason. But I have seen many proofs of 
this monstrous compound in him, of the 
very worst and best. A thousand kind 
thanks to yon, in my own and spouse's 
name, for your kind thoughts of seeing 
us. I add only my repeated service and 
good wishes, as your old and faithful 
friend, and obliged humble servant. 



LETTER XCIV. 

Lord Shaftesbiuy to Lord ^ * -5^, 

\^Sent zvitk the Notion of the Historical Draught 
of the Judgment of Hercules.] 

My lord, 
This letter comes to your lordship, ac- 
companied with a small writing intitled 
A Notion : for such alone can that piece 
deservedly be called, which aspires no 
higher than to the forming of a project, 
and that too in so vulgar a science 
as painting. But whatever the subject 
be, if it can prove any way entertaining 
to you, it will sufficiently answer my 
design. And if possibly it may have that 
good success, I should have no ordinary 
opinion of my project, since I know how 
hard it would be to give your lordship a 
real entertainment by any thing which 
was not in some respect worthy and use- 
ful. 

On this account, I must by way of pre- 
vention inform your lordship, that af- 
ter I had conceived my Notion, such as 
you see it upon paper, I was not con- 
tented with this, but fell directly to work, 
and by the hand of a master-painter 
brought it into practice, and formed a 
real design. This was not enough. I 
resolved afterward to see what effect it 
would have, when taken out of mere 
black-and-white into colours ; and thus 
a sketch was afterwards drawn. This 
pleased so well, that being encouraged 
by the virtuosi who are so eminent in this 
part of the world, I resolved at last to 



Sect. II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



193 



engage my painter in the great work. 
Immediately a cloth was bespoke of a 
suitable dimension, and the figures taken 
?is big or bigger than the common life ; 
the subject being of the heroic kind, and 
requiring rather such figures as should 
appear above ordinary human stature. 

Thus my Notion, as light as it may 
prove in the treatise, is become very 
substantial in the workmanship. The 
piece is still in hand, and like to conti- 
nue so for some time. Otherwise the 
first draught or design should have ac- 
companied the treatise, as the treatise 
does this letter. But the design having 
grown thus into a sketch, and the sketch 
afterwards into a picture, I thought it 
£t your lordship should either see the 
several pieces together, or be troubled 
only with that which y/as the best, as un- 
<Ioubtedly the great one must prove, if 
the master I employ sinks not very much 
below himself in this performance. 

Far surely should I be, my lord, from 
conceiving any vanity or pride in amuse- 
ments of such an inferior kind as these, 
especially were tliey such as they may 
naturally at first sight appear. I pre- 
tend not here to apologize either for them 
or for myself. Your lordship, however, 
knows I have naturally ambition enough 
to make me desirous of employing my- 
self in business of a higher order : since 
it has been my fortune in public affairs 
to act often in concert with you, and in 
the same views, on the interests of Eu- 
rope and mankind. There was a time, 
and that a very early one of my life, 
when I was not wanting to my country 
in this respect. But after some years 
of hearty labour and pains in this kind 
of workmanship, an unhappy breach in 
my health drove me not only from the 
seat of businesB, but forced me to seek 
these foreign climates ; where, as mild 
as the winters generally are, I have with 
much ado lived out this latter one ; and 
am now, as your lordship finds, em- 
ploying myself in such easy studies as are 
most suitable to my state of health, and 
to the genius of the country where I am 
confined. 

Tliis in the mean time I can with some 
assurance say to your lordship in a kind 
of spirit of prophecy, from what I liave 
observed of the rising genius of our na- 
tion, that if we live to see a peace any 
way answerable to that generous spirit 
with which this war was begim and car- 



ried on for our own liberty and that of 
Europe, the figure we are like to make 
abroaid, and the increase of knowledge, 
industry, and sense at home, will render 
united Britain the principal seat of arts ; 
and by her politeness and advantages in 
this kind, will shew evidently how much 
she owes to those counsels which taught 
her to exert herself so resolutely in be- 
half of the common cause, and that of her 
own liberty and happy constitution ne- 
cessarily included. 

I can myself remember the time when, 
in respect of music, our reigning taste was 
in many degrees inferior to the French. 
The long reign of luxury and pleasure 
under king Charles the Second, and the 
foreign helps and studied advantages 
given to music in a following reign, 
could not raise our genius the least in this 
respect. But when the spirit of the na- 
tion was grown more free, though en- 
gaged at that time in the fiercest war, 
and with the most doubtful success, we 
no sooner began to turn ourselves to- 
wards music, and inquire what Italy in 
particular produced, than in an instant 
-\ve outstripped our neighbours the 
French, entered into a genius far beyond 
theirs, and raised ourselves an ear and 
judgment not inferior to the best nov/ in 
the world. 

In the same manner as to painting. 
Tliough we have as yet nothing of our 
own native grov/th in this kind worthy 
of being mentioned, yet since the public 
has of late begun to express a relish for 
engraviiigs, drawings, copyings, and for 
the original paintings of the chief Ita- 
lian schools (so contrary to the modern 
French), I doubt not that in very few 
years we shall make an equal progress in 
this other science. And when our hu- 
mour turns us to cultivate these designing 
arts, our genius, I am persuaded, will na- 
turally carry us over the slighter amuse- 
ments, and lead us to that higher, more 
serious, and noble part of imitation which 
relates to history, human nature, and the 
chief degree or order of beauty, I mean 
that of the rational life, distinct from the 
merely vegetable and sensible, as in ani- 
mals or plants ; according to those seve- 
ral degrees or orders of painting which 
your lordship will find suggested in this 
extemporary Notion I have sent you. 

As for architecture, it is no wonder if 
so many noble designs of this kind have 
miscarried amongst us, since the genius 
O 



194 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book 11. 



of our nation has hitherto been so litthj 
turned this way, that through several 
reigns we have patiently seen the noblest 
public buildings perish (if 1 may say so) 
under the hand of one single court-archi- 
tect ; who, if he had been able to profit 
by experience, would long since, at our 
expense, have proved the greatest master 
in the v/orld. But I question whether 
our patience is like to hold much longer. 
The devastation so long committed in 
this kind, has made us begin to grow 
rude and clamorous at the hearing of a 
new palace spoiled, or a new design com- 
mitted to some rash or impotent pre- 
tender. 

It is the good fate of our nation in 
this particular, that there remain yet 
two of the noblest subjects for architec- 
ture : our princess' palace and our house 
of parliament. For I cannot but fancy 
that when Whitehall is thought of, the 
neighbouring lords and commons will at 
the same time be placed in better cham- 
bers and apartments than at present ; 
were it only for majesty's sake, and as 
a magnificence becoming the person of 
the prince, who here appears in full so- 
lemnity. Nor do I fear that when these 
new subjects are attempted, we should 
miscarry as grossly as we have done in 
others before. Our state in this respect 
may prove perhaps more fortunate than 
our church, in having waited till a na- 
tional taste was formed before these edi- 
fices were undertaken. But the zeal of 
the nation could not, it seems, admit so 
long a delay in their ecclesiastical struc- 
tures, particularly their metropolitan. 
And since a zeal of this sort has been 
newly kindled amongst us, it is like we 
shall see from afar the many spires aris- 
ing in our great city, with such hasty and 
sudden growth, as may be the occasion 
perhaps that our immediate relish shall 
be hereafter censured, as retaining much 
of what artists call the Gothic kind. 

Hardly, indeed, as the public now 
stands, should we bear to see a Whitehall 
treated like a Hampton Court, or even 
a new cathedral like St. Paul's. Almost 
every one now becomes concerned, and in- 
terests himself in such public structures. 
Even those pieces too are brought under 
the common censure, which, though 
raised by private men, are of such a 
grandeur and magnificence as to become 
national ornaments. The ordinary man 
may build his cottage, or the plain gen- 



tleman his country house, according as 
he fancies ; but when a great man builds, 
he win find little quarter from the public, 
if, instead of a beautiful pile, he raises at 
a vast expense such a false and counterfeit 
piece of magnificence, as can be justly 
arraigned for its deformity by so many 
knowing men in art, and by the whole 
people, who, in such a conjecture, rea- 
dily follow their opinion. 

In reality, the people are no small par- 
ties in this cause. Nothing moves suc- 
cessfully without them. There can be 
no public but where they are included. 
And v/ithout a public voice, knowingly 
guided and directed, there is notliing 
which can raise a true ambition in the 
artist ; nothing which can exalt the ge- 
nius of the workman, or make him emu- 
lous of after- fame, and of the approba- 
tion of his country and of posterity. For 
with these, he naturally as a freeman 
must take part ; in these he hath a pas- 
sionate concern and interest raised in 
him, by the same genius of liberty, the 
same laws and government by which his 
property and the rewards of his pains and 
industry are secured to him, and to his 
generation after him. 

Every thing co-operates in such a 
state towards the improvement of art 
and science. And for the designing arts 
in particular, such as architecture, paint- 
ing, and statuary, they are in a manner 
linked together. The taste of one kind 
brings necessarily that of the other along 
with it. When the free spirit of a na- 
tion turns itself this way, judgments are 
formed ; cities arise ; the public eye and 
ear improve ; a right taste prevails, and 
in a manner forces its way. Nothing 
is so improving, nothing so natural, so 
congenial to the liberal arts, as that 
reigning liberty and high spirit of a peo- 
ple, which from the habit of judging 
in the highest matters for themselves, 
makes them freely judge of other sub- 
jects, and enter thoroughly into the 
characters as well of men and manners, 
as of the products or works of men in 
arts and science. So much, my lord, do 
we owe to the excellence of our national 
constitution and legal monarchy ; hap- 
pily fitted for us, and which alone could 
hold together so mighty a people ; all 
share (though at so far a distance from 
each other) in the government of them- 
selves, and meeting under one head in 
one vast metropolis, whose enormous 



Sect. If. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



195 



growth, however censurable in other 
respects, is actually a cause that work- 
manship and arts of so many kinds arise 
to such perfection. 

What encouragement our higher pow- 
ers may think fit to give these growing 
arts, I will not pretend to guess. This I 
know, that it is so much for their ad- 
vantage and interest to make themselves 
the chief parties in the cause, that I wish 
no court or ministry, besides a truly vir- 
tuous and wise one, may ever concern 
themselves in the affair. For should 
they do so, they would in reality do more 
harm than good : since it is not the na- 
ture of a court (such as courts generally 
are) to improve, but rather corrupt a 
taste. And what is in the beginning set 
wrong, by their example, is hardly ever 
afterwards recoverable in the genius of 
a nation. 

Content therefore I am, my lord, 
that Britain stands in this respect as she 
now does. Nor can one, methinks, 
with just reason, regret her having hi- 
therto made no greater advancement in 
these affairs of art. As her constitution 
has grown and been established, she has 
in proportion fitted herself for other im- 
provements. There has been no antici- 
pation in the case. And in this surely 
she must be esteemed wise as well as 
happy ; that ere she attempted to raise 
herself any other taste or relish, she se- 
cured herself a right one in government. 
She has now the advantage of begin- 
ning in other matters on a new foot. 
She has her models yet to seek, her scale 
and standard to form with deliberation 
and good choice. Able enough she is 
at present to shift for herself, however 
abandoned or helpless she has been left 
by those whom it became to assist her. 
Hardly, indeed, could she procure a sin- 
gle academy for the training of her youth 
in exercises. As good soldiers as we are, 
and as good horses as our climate af- 
fords, our princes, rather than expend 
their treasure this way, have suffered our 
youth to pass into a foreign nation to 
learn to ride. As for other academies, 
such as those for painting, sculpture, or 
architecture, we have not so much as 
heard of the proposal ; whilst the prince 
of our rival nation raises academies, 
breeds youth, and sends rewards and 
pensions into foreign countries, to ad- 
vance the interest and credit of his own. 



Now if, notwithstanding the industry 
and pains of this foreign court, and the 
supine unconcernedness of our own, the 
national taste however rises, and already 
shews itself in many respects beyond 
that of our so highly assisted neigh- 
bours ; what greater proof can there be 
of the superiority of genius in one of 
these nations above the other ? 

It is but this moment that I chance 
to read in an article of one of the ga- 
zettes from Paris, that it is resolved at 
court to establish a new academy for po- 
litical affairs. " In it the present chief 
minister is to preside ; having under him 
six academists, douez des takns neces- 
saires no person to be received un- 
der the age of twenty-five. A thousand 

livres pension for each scholar ^able 

masters to be appointed for teaching 
them the necessary sciences, and in- 
structing them in the treaties of peace 
and alliances, which have been formerly 

made the members to assemble three 

times a week c^est de ce seminaire 

(says the writer) qu'on tirera les secre- 
taires d*amhasmde; qui par degrez pour- 
ront montcr a de plus hauts emplois.'* 

I must confess, my lord, as great an 
admirer as I am of these regular insti- 
tutions, I cannot but look upon an aca- 
demy for ministers as a very extraor- 
dinary establishment ; especially in such 
a monarchy as France, and at such a 
conjuncture as the present. It looks as 
if the ministers of that court had disco- 
vered lately some new method of nego- 
ciation, such as tlieir predecessors Rich- 
lieu and Mazarine never thought of; or 
that, on the contrary, they have found 
themselves so declined, and at such a loss 
in the management of this present trea- 
ty, as to be forced to take their lessons 
from some of those ministers with whom 
they treat; a reproach of which, no 
doubt, they must be highly sensible. 

But it is not my design here to enter- 
tain your lordship with any reflections 
upon politics, or the methods which the 
French may take to raise themselves new 
ministers or new generals ; who may 
prove a better match for us than hither- 
to, whilst we held our old. I will only 
say to your lordship on this subject of 
academies, that indeed I have less con- 
cern for the deficiency of such a one as 
this, than of any other which could be 
thought of for England ; and that as for 
02 



196 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IL 



a seminary of statesmen, I doubt not but, 
without tliis extraordinary help, we shall 
be able, out of our old stock, and the 
common course of business, constantly 
to furnish a sufficient number of well- 
qualified persons to serve upon occasion, 
either at home or in our foreign treaties, 
as often as such persons accordingly qua- 
lified shall duly, honestly, and bona fide 
be required to serve. 

I return therefore to my virtuoso sci- 
ence ; which being my chief amusement 
in this place and circumstance, your 
lordship has by it a fresh instance that I 
can never employ my thoughts with sa- 
tisfaction on any subject, without mak- 
ing you a party. For even tliis very 
Notion had its rise chiefly from the con- 
versation of a certain day which I had 
the happiness to pass a few years since in 
the country with your lordship. It was 
there you shewed me some engravings 
which had been sent you from Italy. One 
in particular I well remember ; of which 
the subject was the very same with that 
of my written Notion enclosed. But by 
what hand it was done, or after what 
master, or how executed, I have quite 
forgot. It was the summer season, when 
you had recess from business. And I 
have accordingly calculated this epistle 
and project for the same recess and lei- 
sure. For by the time this can reach 
England, the spring will be far advanced, 
and the national affairs in a manner over 
with those who are not in the immedi- 
ate administration. 

Were that indeed your lordship's lot 
at present, I know not whether, in re- 
gard to my country, I should dare throw 
such amusements as these in your way. 
Yet even in this case, I would venture to 
say, however, in defence of my project, 
and of the cause of painting, that could 
my young hero come to your lordship 
as well represented as he might have 
been, either by the hand of a Marat or a 
Jordano (the masters who were in being, 
and in repute, when I first travelled here 
in Italy), the picture itself, whatever 
the treatise proved, would have been 
worth notice, and might have become a 
present worthy of our court, and prince's 
palace, especially were it so blessed as 
to lodge within it a royal issue of her 
majesty's. Such a piece of furniture 
might well fit the gallery, or hall of ex- 
ercises, where our young princes should 



learn their usual lessons. And to see 
Virtue in this garb and action, might 
perhaps be no slight memorandum here- 
after to a royal youth, who should one 
day come to undergo this trial himself; 
on which his own happiness, as well as 
the fate of Europe and the world, would 
in so great a measure depend. 

This, my lord, is making (as you 
see) the most I can of my project, and 
setting off my amusements with the best 
colour I am able ; that I may be the 
more excuseable in communicating them 
to your lordship, and expressing thus, 
with what zeal I am, my lord, your 
lordship's most faithful humble servant. 

Naples, March 6, 
N. S. 1712. 



LETTER XCV. 

From the Earl of Shaftesbury to the Earl 
of Oxford. 

Reygate, March 29, 1711. 
My lord, 
The honour you have done me in many 
kind inquiries after my health, and the 
favour you have shewn me lately, in 
forwarding the only means I have left 
for my recovery, by trying the air of a 
warmer climate, obliges me, ere I leave 
England, to return your lordship my 
most humble thanks and acknowledg- 
ments in this manner, since I am unable 
to do it in a better. I might perhaps, 
my lord, do injustice to myself, having 
had no opportunity of late years to pay 
my particular respects to you, if I should 
attempt any otherwise to compliment 
your lordship on the late honours you 
have received, than by appealing to the 
early acquaintance and strict correspond- 
ence I had once the honour to maintain 
with you and your family, for which I 
had been bred almost from my infancy 
to have the highest regard. Your lord- 
ship well knows my principles and be- 
haviour from the first hour I engaged in 
any public concern, and with what zeal 
I spent some years of my life in support- 
ing your interest, which I thought of 
greater moment to the public than my 
own or family's could ever be. What 
the natural effects are of private friend- 
ship so founded, and what the consc' 
quence of different opinions intervening, 



Sect II. 



MODERN, OF EARLY DATE. 



197 



your lordship, wlio is so good a judge of 
men and tilings, can better resolve with 
yourself, than I can possibly suggest. 
And being so knowing in friends (of 
whom your lordship has acquired so 
many), you can recollect how those ties 
or obligations have been hitherto pre- 
served towards you, and whose friend- 
ships, affections, and principles you may 
for the future best depend upon in all 
circumstances and variations, public and 
private. For my OAvn part, I shall say 
only, that 1 very sincerely wish you all 
happiness, and can with no man living 
congratulate more heartily on what I ac- 
count real honour and prosperity. Your 
conduct of the public will be the just 
earnest and insurance of your greatness 
and power ; and I shall then chiefly con- 
gratulate with your lordship on your me- 
rited honours and advancement, when 
by the happy effects it appears e^adentiy 
in the service of what cause, and for the 
advantage of what interest, they were 
acquired and enjoyed. Had I been to 
wish by what hands the public should 
have been served, the honour of the first 
part (your lordship weU knows) had 
fallen to you long since. If others, from 
whom I least hoped, have done greatly 
and as became them, I hope, if possible, 
you will still exceed all they have per- 
formed, and accomplish the great work 
so gloriously begun and carried on for 
the rescue of liberty, and the deliverance 
of Europe and mankind. And in this 
presumption I cannot but remain with 
the same zeal and sincerity as ever, my 
lord, &c. 



LETTER XCVI. 

From the Earl of Shaftesbury to Lord 
Godolphin. 

Reygate, May 27, 1711. 
My lord, 
Being about to attempt a journey to 
Italy, to try what a warmer climate (if I 
am able to reach it) may do towards the 
restoring me a little breath and life, it is 
impossible for me to stir hence till I have 
acquitted myself of my respects the best 
I can to your lordship, to whom alone, 
had I but strength enough to make my 
compliments, and pay a day's attendance 
in town, I should think myself sufficient- 
ly happy in my weak state of health. I 
am indeed, my lord, little able to render 
services of any kind ; nor do I pretend to 
offer myself in such a capacity to any one, 
except your lordsliip only. But could I 
flatter myself that ere I parted hence, or 
while I passed through France or staid in 
Italy, I could any where, in the least 
trifle, or in the highest concern, render 
any manner of service to your lordship, I 
should be proud of such a commission. 
Sure I am, in what relates to your ho- 
nour and name (if that can receive ever 
any advantage from such an hand as 
mine) your public as well as private me- 
rit wiU not pass unremembered, into 
whatever region or climate I am transfer- 
red. No one has a more thorough know- 
ledge in that kind than myself, nor no 
one there is, who on this account has a 
juster right to profess himself, as I shall 
ever do, with highest obligation and 
most constant zeal, my lord, your lord- 
ship's most faithful and most obedient 
humble servant. 



BOOK THE THIRD. 

LETTERS OF THE LAST CENTURY, 
AND OF LATE DATE. 



SECTION I. 



FROM MR. POPE AND HIS FRIENDS. 



LETTER I. 

Mr. Pope to Mr, Wycherley. 

Binfield in Windsor Forest, Dec. 26, 1704*. 
It was certainly a great satisfaction to 
me to see and converse with a man, 
whom in his writings I had so long 
known with pleasure ; but it was a high 
addition to it to hear you, at our very 
first meeting, doing justice to our dead 
friend Mr. Dryden. I was not so happy 
as to know him : Virgilium tantum vidi. 
Had I been born early enough, I must 
have known and loved him ; for I have 
been assured, not only by yourself, but 
by Mr. Congreve and sir William Trum- 
bul, that his personal qualities were as 
amiable as his poetical, notwithstanding 
the many libellous misrepresentations 
of them, against which the former of 
these gentlemen has told me he will 
one day vindicate himf. I suppose those 
injuries were begun by the violence of 
party ; but it is no doubt they were con- 
tinued by envy at his success and fame. 
And those scribblers, who attacked him 

* The author's age then sixteen. 

f He since did so in his Dedication to the 
duke of Newcastle, prefixed to the duodecimo 
edition of Dr3'den's I'lays, 1717. 



in his latter times, were only like gnats 
in a summer's evening, which are never 
very troublesome but in the finest and 
most glorious season ; but his fire, like 
the sun's, shined clearest towards the 
setting. 

You must not therefore imagine, that 
when you told me my own performances 
were above those critics, I was so vain 
as to believe it : and yet I may not be so 
humble as to think myself quite below 
their notice. For critics, as they are 
birds of prey, have ever a natural incli- 
nation to carrion ; and though such 
poor writers as I are but beggars, no 
beggar is so poor but he can keep a cur, 
and no author is so beggarly but he can 
keep a critic. I am far from thinking 
the attacks of such people either any 
honour or dishonour even to me, much 
less to Mr. Dryden. I agree with you, 
that whatever lesser wits have risen 
since his death, are but like stars ap- 
pearing when the sun is set, that twin- 
kle only in his absence, and with the 
rays they have borrowed from him. 
Our wit (as you call it) is but reflection 
or imitation, therefore scarce to be call- 
ed ours. True wit, I believe, may be 
defined a justness of thought and a fa- 
cility of expression ; or (in the mid- 
wives' plirase) a perfect conception, with 



Sect. I. 



MODERN, OF LATE DATE. 



199 



ua easy delivery. However, this is far 
from a complete definition. Pray help 
me to a better, as I doubt not you can. 
T am, &c. 



LETTER III. 



From the same to the same. 



LETTER II. 

From the same to the same., 

March 25, 1705. 

When I write to you, I foresee a long 
letter, and ought to beg your patience 
beforehand ; for if it proves the longest 
it will be of course the Tvorst I have 
troubled you with. Yet, to express my 
gratitude at large for your obliging let- 
ter is not more my duty than my in- 
terest, as some people will abundantly 
thank you for one piece of kindness, to 
put you in mind of bestowing another. 
The more favourable you are to me, the 
more distinctly I see my faults : spots and 
blemishes, you know, are never so plainly 
discovered as in the brightest sunshine. 
Thus I am mortified by those commend- 
ations which were designed to encourage 
me ; for praise to a young wit is like 
rain to a tender flower ; if it be mode- 
rately bestowed, it cheers and revives ; 
but if too lavishly, overcharges and de- 
presses him. Most men in years, as they 
are generally discouragers of youth, are 
like old trees, that, being past bearing 
themselves, will suflFer no young plants 
to flourish beneath them ; but, as if it 
were not enough to have outdone all 
your coevals in wit, you will excel them 
in good-nature too. As for my green 
essays *, if you find any pleasure in them, 
it must be such as a man naturally takes 
in observing the first shoots and buddings 
of a tree which he has raised himself : 
and it is impossible they should be 
esteemed any otherwise than as we value 
fruits for being early, which nevertheless 
are the most insipid, and the worst of 
the year. In a word, I must blame you 
for treating me with so much compli- 
ment, which is at best but the smoke of 
friendship. I neither write nor converse 
with you to gain your praise, but your 
affection. Be so much my friend as to 
appear my enemy, and to tell me my 
faults, if not as a young man, at least as 
an inexperienced writer. 1 am, &c. 

=^ His Pastorals, written at sixteen years of 

a.sc. 



April 50, 1705, 
I CANNOT contend with you ; you must 
give me leave at once to wave all your 
compliments, and to collect only this in 
general from them, that your design is 
to encourage me : but I separate from 
all the rest that paragraph or two in 
which you make me so warm an offer of 
your friendship. Were I possessed of 
that, it would put an end to all those 
speeches with which you now make me 
blush ; and change them to wholesome 
advices and free sentiments, which might 
make me wiser and happier. 1 know it 
is the general opinion, that friendship is 
best contracted betwixt persons of equal 
age ; but I have so much interest to be 
of another mind, that you must pardon 
me if 1 cannot forbear telling you a few 
notions of mine, in opposition to that 
opinion. 

In the first place, it is observable, that 
the love we bear to our friends is gene- 
rally caused by our finding the same dis- 
positions in them which we feel in our- 
selves. This is but self love at the bot- 
tom ; whereas the aS'ection betwixt peo- 
ple of different ages cannot well be so, 
the inclinations of such being commonly 
various. The friendship of tw^o young 
men is often occasioned by love of plea- 
sure or voluptuousness, each being de- 
sirous for his own sake of one to assist or 
encourage him in the course he pursues ; 
as that of two old men is frequently on 
the score of some profit, lucre, or design 
upon others. Now, as a young man, 
who is less acquainted with the ways of 
the world, has in all probability less of 
interest; and an old man, who maybe 
weary of himself, has, or should have, 
less of self love — so the friendship be- 
tween them is more likely to be true, 
and unmixed with too much self-regard. 
One may add to this, that such a friend- 
ship is of greater use and advantage to 
both ; for the old man wiU grow gay 
and agreeable to please the young one ; 
and the young man more discreet and 
prudent by the help of the old one ; so 
it may prove a cure of those epidemi- 
cal diseases of age and youth, sourness 
and madness. I hope you Avill not need 
many arguments to convince you of the 



200 



ELEGANT EPISTLES, 



Book IIL 



possibility of this ; one alone abundantly 
satisfies me, and convinces to the heart ; 
which is, that young as I am, and old as 
you are^, I am your entirely affection- 
ate, &c. 

LETTER IV. 

Mr. Pope to Mr. tVj/cherle^. 

Oct. 26, 1705. 
I HAVE now changed the scene from 
the town to the country ; from Will's 
coffee house to Windsor forest. I find 
no other difference than this betwixt 
the common town wits and the down- 
right country fools ; that the first are 
pertly in the wrong, with a little more 
flourish and gaiety ; and the last neither 
in the right nor the wrong, but confirm- 
ed in a stupid settled medium betwixt 
both. However, methinks, these are 
most in the right, who quietly and easily 
resign themselves over to the gentle reign 
of dulness, which the wits must do at last, 
though after a great deal of noise and 
resistance. Ours are a sort of modest in- 
offensive people, who neither have sense, 
nor pretend to any, but enjoy a jovial 
sort of dulness ; they are commonly 
known in the world by the name of 
Honest, Civil Gentlemen : they live, 
much as they ride, at random ; a kind 
of hunting life, pursuing with earnest- 
ness and hazard something not worth the 
catching ; never in the way, nor out of 
it. I cannot but prefer solitude to the 
company of all these ; for though a man's 
self may possibly be the worst fellow to 
converse with in the world, yet one 
would think the company of a person 
whom we have the greatest regard to and 
affection for, could not be very unplea- 
sant. As a man in love with a mistress 
desires no conversation but hers, so a 
man in love with himself (as most men 
are) may be best pleased with his own. 
Besides, if the truest and most useful 
knowledge be the knowledge of our- 
selves, solitude, conducing most to make 
us look into ourselves, should be the 
most instructive state of life. We see 
nothing more commonly, than men who, 
for the sake of the circumstantial part, 
and mere outside of life, have been half 
their days rambling out of tlieir nature, 
and ought to be sent into solitude to 

* Mr. Wycherley was at this time about se- 
venty years old : Mr. Pope under seventeen. 



study themselves over again. People 
are usually spoiled, instead of being 
taught at their coming into the world : 
whereas J by being more conversant with 
obscurity, without any pains, they would 
naturally follow what they are meant for. 
In a word, if a man be a coxcomb, soli- 
tude is his best school ; and if he be a. 
fool, it is his best sanctuary. 

These are good reasons for my own 
stay here ; but I wish I could give you 
any for your coming hither, except that 
I earnestly invite you ; and yet I cannot 
help saying I have suffered a great deal 
of discontent that you do not come, 
though I so little merit that you should. 

I must complain of the shortness of 
your last. Those who have most wit, 
like those who have most money, are 
generally most sparing of either. 

LETTER V. 

Fro?n the same to the same, 

April 10, 17Q6. 
By one of yours of the last month, 
you desire me to select, if possible, some 
things from the first volume of your 
Miscellanies f, which may be altered so* 
as to appear again. I doubted your 
meaning in this : whether it was to pick 
out the best of those verses (as those on 
the Idleness of Business, on Ignorance, 
on Laziness, &c.) to make the method 
and numbers exact, and avoid repeti- 
tions. For though (upon reading them 
on this occasion) I believe they might 
receive such an alteration with advan- 
tage, yet they would not be changed so 
much but any one would know them for 
the same at first sight. Or if you mean 
to improve the worst pieces ; which are 
such as, to render them very good, would 
require great addition, and almost the 
entire new writing of them. Or, lastly, 
if you mean the middle sort, as the Songs, 
and Love-verses : for these will need 
only to be shortened to omit repetition ; 
the words remaining very little different 
from what they were before. Pray let 
me know your mind in this, for I am 
utterly at a loss. Yet I have tried what I 
could do to some of the songs, and the 
poems on Laziness and Ignorance ; but 
cannot (even in my own partial judg- 
ment) think my alterations much to 

f Printed in folio, in the year 1704. 



SfiCT. I. 



MODERN, OF LATE DATE. 



2ai 



the purpose ; so that I must needs desire 
you would apply your care wholly at 
present to those which are yet unpublish- 
ed, of which there are more than enough 
to make a considerable volume, of full as 
good ones ; nay, I believe of better than 
any in Vol. I, wliich I could wish you 
would defer, at least till you have finished 
these that are yet unprinted. 

I send you a sample of some few of 
these ; namely, the verses to Mr. Waller 
in his old age ; your new ones on the 
duke of Marlborough, and two others. 
1 have done all that I thought could be 
of advantage to them : some I have con- 
tracted, as we do sunbeams, to improve 
their energy and force : some I have 
taken quite away, as we take branches 
from a tree to add to the fruit ; others 
I have entirely new expressed, and tuirn- 
ed more into poetry. Donne (like one 
of his successors) had infinitely more wit 
than he wanted versification ; for the 
great dealers of wit, like those in trade, 
take least pains to set ofi' their goods ; 
while the haberdashers of smaU wit spare 
for no decorations or ornaments. You 
have commissioned me to paint your 
shop ; and I have done my best to brush 
you up like your neighbours^. But I can 
no more pretend to the merit of the pro- 
duction than a midwife to the virtues 
and good qualities of the child she helps 
into the light. 

The few things I have entirely added, 
you will excuse : you may take them 
laAvfuliy for your own, because they iire 
no more than sparks lighted up by your 
fire : and you may omit them at last, if 
you think them but squibs in your tri- 
umphs. I am, &c. 

LETTER VL 

Fj'om the same to the saj/ie. 

Nov. '20, 1707. 
Mr.Englefield, being upon his journey 
to London, tells me I must write to you 
by him, which I do, not more to comply 
with his desire than to gratify my own ; 
though I did it so lately by the mes- 
senger you sent hither : I take it too as 
an opportunity of sending you the fair 

* Several of Mr. Pope's lines, very easy to 
be distinguished, may be found in the post- 
humous editions of Wycherley's Poems, par- 
ticularly those on Solitude, on the Public, and 
on the Mixed Life. 



copy of the poem on Dulnessf, which 
was not then finished, and which I 
should not care to hazard by the com- 
mon post. Mr. Englefield is ignorant 
of the contents ; and I hope your pru- 
dence wiU let him remain so, for my sake 
no less than your own : since, if you 
should reveal any thing of this nature, it 
would be no wonder reports should be 
raised, and there are those (I fear) who 
would be ready to improve them to my 
disadvantage. I am sorry you told the 
great man, whom you met in the court 
of requests, that your papers were in my 
hands. No man alive shall ever know 
any such thing from me, and I give you 
this warning besides, that though your- 
self should say I had any ways assisted 
you, I am notwithstanding resolved to 
deny it. 

The method of the copy I send you is 
very different from what it was, and 
much more regular : for the better help 
of your memory, I desire you to com- 
pare it by the figures in the margin, 
answering to the same in this letter. 
The Poem is now divided into four 
parts, marked with the literal figures 
1, 2, 3, 4. The first contains the 
Praise of Dulness ; and shews how 
upon several suppositions it passes for, 
1 , religion ; 2, philosophy ; 3, exam- 
ple ; 4, wit ; and, 5, the cause of wit, 
and the end of it. The second part 
contains the Advantages of Dulness ; 
1st, in business ; and, 2dly, at court ; 
where the similitudes of the bias of a 
bowl, and the weights of a clock, are 
directly tending to the subject, though 
introduced before in a place where 
there was no mention made of those 
advantages (which was your only objec- 
tion to my adding them). The third 
contains the Happiness of Dulness in all 
stations ; and shews, in a great many 
particulars, that it is so fortunate as to 
be esteemed some good quality or other 
in all sorts of people : that it is thought 
quiet, sense, caution, policy, pru- 
dence, majesty, valour, circumspection, 
honesty, &c. The fourth part I have 
wholly added, as a climax which sums 
up all the praise, advantage, and hap- 
piness of Dulness in a few words, and 

f The original of it in blots, and with figures 
of the references from copy to copy, in Mr. 
Pope's hand, is yet extant among other such 
brouillons of Mr. Wycherley's poems, correct- 
ed by him. 



202 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IlL 



strengthens them by the opposition of 
the disgrace, -disadvantage, and unhap- 
piness of wit, with which it concludes. 

Though the whole be as short again 
as at first, there is not one thought omit- 
ted, but what is a repetition of something 
in your first volume, or in this very pa- 
per. Some thoughts are contracted, 
where they seemed encompassed with 
too many words ; and some new ex- 
pressed, or added, where I thought there 
wanted heightening (as you will see par- 
ticularly in the simile of the clock- 
weights *) ; and the versification through- 
out is, I believe, such as nobody can be 
shocked at. The repeated permissions 
you give me of dealing freely with you, 
will (I hope) excuse what I have done : 
for if I have not spared you when 1 
thought severity would do you a kindness, 
I have not mangled you where I thought 
there was no absolute need of amputa- 
tion. As to particulars, I can satisfy 
you better when we meet. In the mean 
time, pray write to me when you can ; 
you cannot too often. 

LETTER Vn. 

Mr. Pope to Mr. Wycherlei/. 

Nov. 20, 1707. 
The compliments you make me, in re- 
gard of any inconsiderable service I 
could do you, are very unkind ; and do 
but tell me, in other words, that my 
friend has so mean an opinion of me, as 
to think I expect acknowledgments for 
trifles ; which, upon my faith, 1 shall 
equally take amiss, whether made to 
myself or to any other. For God's sake 
(my dear friend) think better of me ; 
and believe I desire no sort of favour 
so much as that of serving you more 
considerably than I have yet been able 
to do. 

I shall proceed in this manner with 
some others of your pieces : but since 
you desire I would not deface your copy 
for the future, and only mark the repeti- 
tions, 1 must, as soon as 1 have marked 
these, transcribe what is left on another 
paper ; and in that blot, alter, and add 
all I can devise for their improvement ; 

* These two similes, of the bias of a bowl 
and the weights of a clock, were at length put 
into the first book of tlic Dunriad ; and thus 
we have the history of Jlicir birth, fortnncL-, 
arul final establishment, 



for you are sensible, the omission of re- 
petitions is but one, and the easiest part 
of yours and my design ; there remaining 
besides to rectify the method, to connect 
the matter, and to mend the expression 
and versification. I will go next upon the 
poems of Solitude, on the Public, and on 
the Mixt Life, the Bill of Fare, the 
Praises of Avarice, and some others. 

I must take notice of what you say, 
of " my pains to make your dulness me- 
thodical ;" and of your hint, "That 
the sprightliness of wit despises me- 
thod." This is true enough, if by wit 
you mean no more than fancy or con- 
ceit ; but in the better notion of wit, 
considered as propriety, surely method is 
not only necessary for perspicuity and 
harmony of parts, but gives beauty even 
to the minute and particular thoughts, 
which receive an additional advantage 
from those which precede or follow in 
their due place. You remember a simile 
Mr. Dry den used in conversation, of 
feathers in the crowns of the wild In- 
dians ; which they not only choose for 
the beauty of their colours, but place 
them in such a manner as to reflect a 
lustre on each other. I will not disguise 
any of my sentiments from you : to me- 
thodize, in your case, is full as necessary 
as to strike out ; otherwise you had bet- 
ter destroy the whole frame, and reduce 
them into single thoughts in prose, like 
Rochefoucault, as I have more than once 
hinted to you. 

LETTER VIII. 

FrojH the same to the same. 

May 20, 1 709. 
I A3I glad you received the Miscellany f, 
if it were only to shew you that there 
are as bad poets in this nation as your 
servant. This modern custom, of appear- 
ing in miscellanies, is very useful to the 
poets, who, like other thieves, escape 
by getting into a crowd, and herd toge- 
ther like banditti, safe only in their mul- 
titude. Methinks Strada has given a 
good description of these kind of collec- 
tions : " NuUus hodie mortalium aut nas- 
citur aut moritur, aut proeliatur, aut rus- 
ticatur, aut abit peregre, aut redit, aut 
nubit, aut est, aut non est (nam etiam 

f Jacob 'i'ouson's sixth vol. of Miscellany 
Poems. 



Sect. I. 



MODERN. OF LATE DATE. 



203 



mortuis ibti canuiit) cui non ii!o exemplo 
cadimt Epicedia, Genethliaca, Protrep- 
tica, PaneffA^rica, Epithalanija, Vaticinia, 
Propemptica, Soterica, Parsenetica, Nee- 
mas, Nugas." As to the success -which, 
you say, my part has met with, it is to 
be attributed to what you were pleased to 
say of me to the world ; which you do 
well to call your prophecy, since what- 
ever is said in my favour must be a pre- 
diction of thing's that are not yet : you, 
like a true godfather, engage on my part 
for much more than ever I can perform. 
My pastoral jMuse, like other coimtry 
girls, is put out of countenance by what 
you courtiers say to her ; yet I hope you 
would not deceive me too far, as know- 
ing that a young scribbler's vanity needs 
no recruits from abroad ; for Nature, 
like an indulgent mother, kindly takes 
care to supply her sons with as much of 
their own as is necessary for their satis- 
faction. If my verses should meet with 
a few flying commendations, Virgil has 
taught me, that a young author has not 
too much reason to be pleased with them 
when he considers that the natural con- 
sequence of praise is envy and calumny. 

— Si ultra placitum laudarit, baccare fronlem 
Cingiie, ne vati iioceat mala lingua ftttiiro. 

When once a man has appeared as a 
poet, he may give up his pretensions to 
all the rich and thriving arts : those who 
have once made their court to those 
mistresses without portions, the Muses, 
are never like to set up for fortunes : 
but for my part, I shall be satisfied if I 
can lose my time agreeably this way, 
without losing my reputation : as for 
gaining any, I am as indifferent in the 
matter as Falstaff was ; and may say of 
fame as he did of honour, " If it comes, 
it comes unlook'd for ; and there's an 
end on't." I can be content with a bare 
saving game, without being thought an 
eminent hand (with which title Jacob 
has graciously dignified his adventm-ers 
and volunteers in poetry). Jacob creates 
poets as kings sometimes do knights, 
not for their honour, but for their mo- 
ney. Certainly he ought to he esteemed 
a worker of miracles, who is grown rich 
by poetry. 

What authors lose, their booksellers have 
won ; 

So pimps grow rich, while gallants are un- 
done. 

I am vours. &c. 



LETTER IX. 

From the same to the savie. 

April \5, 1710. 

I RECEIVED your most extreme kind 
letter but just now. It found me over 
those papers you mention, which have 
been my employment ever since Easter 
Monday : I hope before ISIichaelmas to 
have discharged my task, which, upon 
the word of a friend, is the most pleasing 
one I could be put upon. Since you are 
so near going into Shropshire (whither I 
shall not care to write of this matter, for 
fear of the miscarriage of any letters) I 
must desire your leave to give you a plain 
and sincere account of what I have found 
from a more serious application to them. 
Upon comparison with the former vo- 
lume, I find much more repeated than I 
till now imagined, as well as in the pre- 
sent volume ; which, if (as you told me 
last) you would have me dash over mth 
a line, Avill deface the whole copy ex- 
tremely, and to a degree that (I fear) 
may displease you. I have everywhere 
marked in the margins the page and line, 
botii in this and the other part. But if 
you order me not to cross the lines, or 
would any way else limit my commis- 
sion, you will oblige me by doing it in 
your next letter ; for I am at once equal- 
ly fearful of sparing you, and of offend- 
ing you by too impudent a correction. 
Hitherto, however, I have crossed them 
so as to be legible, because you bade me. 
When I think all the repetitions are 
struck out in a copy, I sometimes find 
more upon dipping in the first volume ; 
and the number increases so much, that 
I believe more shortening Avill be requi- 
site than you may be willing to bear 
A^ith, unless you are in good earnest re- 
solved to have no thought repeated. 
Pray forgive this freedom, which as I 
must be sincere in this case, so I could 
not but take ; and let me know if I am 
to go on at this rate, or if you would 
prescribe any other method. 

I am very glad you continue your re- 
solution of seeing me in my hermitage 
this summer. The sooner you return, 
the sooner I shall be happy ; whicli in- 
deed my want of any company that is 
entertaining or esteemable, together with 
frequent infirmities and pains, hinder me 
from being in your absence. It is (I 
am sure) a real truth, that mv sickness 



204 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book III. 



cannot make me quite weary of myself 
when I have you with me ; and I shall 
want no company but yours, when you 
are here. 

You see how freely and with how lit- 
tle care I talk, rather than write to you. 
This is one of the many advantages of 
friendship, that one can say to one's 
friend the things that stand in need of 
pardon, and at the same time be sure of 
it. Indeed, I do not know whether or 
no the letters of friends are the worse for 
being fit for none else to read. It is an 
argument of the trust reposed in a 
friend's good-nature, wlien one writes 
such things to him as require a good 
portion of it. I have experienced yours 
so often and so long, that I can now no 
more doubt of the greatness of it than 
I hope you do of the greatness of my 
affection, or of the sincerity with which 
I am, &c. 

LETTER X. 

Blr. Pope to Mr. Wycherlei/. 

May 10, 1710. 

I AM sorry you persist to take ill my 
not accepting your invitation, and to 
find (if I mistake not) your exception 
not unmixed with some suspicion. Be 
certain I shall most carefully observe 
your request, not to cross over, or deface 
the copy of your papers for the future, 
and only to mark in the margin the re- 
petitions. But as this can serve no far- 
ther than to get rid of those repetitions, 
and no way rectify the method, nor 
connect the matter, nor improve the 
poetry in expression or numbers, with- 
out further blotting, adding, and alter- 
ing ; so it really is my opinion and de- 
sire, that you shall take your papers 
out of my hands into your own, and 
that no alterations may be made but 
when both of us are present ; when you 
may be satisfied with every blot, as well 
as every addition, and nothing be put 
upon the pajiers but what you shall give 
your own sanction and assent to at the 
same time. 

Do not be so unjust, as to imagine 
from hence that 1 would decline any part 
of this task ; on the contrary, you know, 
I have been at the pains of transcribing 
some pieces, at once to comply with your 
desire of not defacing the copy, and yet 
to lose no time in proceeding upon the 



correction. I will go on the same way, 
if you please ; though truly it is (as I 
have often told you) my sincere opinion, 
that the gi-eater part would make a much 
better figure as single maxims and reflec- 
tions in prose, after the manner of your 
favourite Rochefoucault, than in verse * ; 
and this, when nothing more is done but 
marking the repetitions in the margin, 
will be an easy task to proceed upon, 
notwithstanding the bad memory you 
complain of. I am unfeignedly, dear 
sir, your, &c. 

LETTER XI. 

Mr. Pope to Mr. Walsh. 

Windsor Forest, July 2, 1706. 
I CANNOT omit the first opportunity of 
making you my acknowledgments for 
reviewing those papers of mine. You 
have no less right to correct me than the 
same hand that raised a tree has to prune 
it. I am convinced as well as you, that 
one may correct too much ; for in poetry 
as in painting, a man may lay colours 
one upon another, till they stiffen and 
deaden the piece. Besides, to bestow 
heightening on every part is monstrous t 
some parts ought to be lower than the 
rest ; and nothing looks more ridiculous 
than a work, where the thoughts, how- 
ever different in their own nature, seem 
all on a level : it is like a meadow newly 
mown, where weeds, grass, and flowers, 
are all laid even, and appear undistin- 
guished. I believe too that sometimes 
our first thoughts are the best ; as the 
first squeezing of the grapes makes the 
finest and richest wine. 

I have not attempted any thing of a 
Pastoral Comedy, because, I think, the 
taste of our age will not relish a poem of 
that sort. People seek for what they call 
Wit, on all subjects, and in all places ; 
not considering that Nature loves truth 
so well, that it hardly ever admits of 
flourishing : conceit is to nature, what 
paint is to beauty ; it is not only need- 
less, but impairs what it would improve. 

* Mr. Wycherley lived five years after, to 
December 1715 ; but little progress was made 
in this design, through his old age, and the in- 
crease of his infirmities. However, some of the 
verses which had been touched by Mr. P. with 
covin of these maxims in prose, were found 
among his papers, which, having the misfortune 
to fall into the hands of a mercenary, were 
published in 1782, in octavo, under the title of 
The Posthumous Works of W. Wycherley, Esq. 



Sect. I. 



MODERN, OF LATE DATE. 



205 



There is a certain majesty in simplicity, 
which is far above all the quaintness of 
wit : insomuch, that the critics have ex- 
cluded wit from the loftiest poetry, as 
well as the lowest, and forbid it to the 
Epic no less than the Pastoral. I should 
certainly displease all those who are 
charmed with Guarini and BonarelM, 
and imitate Tasso not only in tlie sim- 
plicity of his thoughts, but in that of 
the fable too. if surprising discoveries 
should have place in the story of a pas- 
toral comedy, I believe it would be more 
agreeable to probability to make them 
the effects of chance than of design ; in- 
trigue not being very consistent with 
that innocence which ought to consti- 
tute a shepherd's character. There is 
nothing in all the Aminta (as I remem- 
ber) but happens by mere accident ; un- 
less it be the meeting of Aminta with 
Sylvia at the fountain, which is the con- 
trivance of Daphne ; and even that is the 
most simple in the world : the contrary 
is observable in Pastor Fido, where Co- 
risca is so perfect a mistress of intrigue, 
that the plot could not have been brought 
to pass without her. I am inclined to 
think the pastoral comedy has another 
disadvantage, as to the manners : its 
general design is to make us in love 
with the innocence of a rural life, so that 
to introduce shepherds of a vicious cha- 
racter must in some measure debase it ; 
and hence it may come to pass, that even 
the virtuous ciiaracters will not shine so 
much, for want of being opposed to their 
contraries. These thoughts are purely 
my own, and therefore I have reason to 
doubt them : but 1 hope your judgment 
will set me right. 

I would beg your opinion too as to 
another point : it is. How far the liberty 
of borrowing may extend? I have de- 
fended it sometimes by saying, that it 
seems not so much the perfection of 
sense, to say things that had never been 
said before, as to express those best that 
have been said oftenest ; and tliat wri- 
ters, in the case of borrowing from 
others, are like trees, which of them- 
selves would produce only one sort of 
fruit; but by being grafted upon others, 
may yield variety. A mutual commerce 
makes poetry flourish ; but then poets, 
like merchants, should repay with some- 
thing of their own what they take from 
others ; not like pirates, make prize of 
all they meet. I desire you to tell me 



sincerely, if I have not stretched this li- 
cense too far in these Pastorals : I hope 
to become a critic by your precepts, and 
a poet by your example. Since I have 
seen your Eclogues, 1 cannot be much 
pleased with my own ; however, you 
have not taken away all my vanity, so 
long as you give me leave to profess my- 
self yours, &c. 



LETTER XIL 

From the scune to the same. 

Oct. 22, 1 706, 

After the thoughts I have already sent 
you on the subject of English versifica- 
tion, you desire my opinion as to some 
farther particulars. There are indeed 
certain niceties, which, though not 
much observed even by correct versi- 
fiers, I cannot but think deserve to be 
better regarded. 

1 . It is not enough that nothing of- 
fends the ear, but a good poet will adapt 
the very sounds, as well as words, to the 
thing he treats of : so that there is (if 
one may express it so) a style of sound. 
As in describing a gliding stream, the 
numbers should run easy and flowing ; 
in describing a rough torrent or deluge, 
sonorous and swelling ; and so of the 
rest. This is evident everywhere in 
Homer and Virgil, and nowhere else', 
that I know of, to any observable degree. 
The following examples will make this 
plain, which I have taken from Vida : 

Molle viam tacito lapsu per levia radit. 

Incedit tardo moliniine subsidendo. 

Luctantes ventos, tempestatesque sonoras. 

Immenso cum prcecipitans ruit Oceano Nox. 

Telum imbelle sine ictu, cnnjecit. 

Tolle moras y cape saxa manu, cape robora. Pastor. 

Ferte citi fiammas, date tela, repellite pestem. 

This, I think, is what very few ob- 
serve in practice, and is undoubtedly of 
wonderful force in imprinting the image 
on the reader : we have one excellent 
example of it in our own language, Mr. 
Dryden's Ode on St. Csecilia's Day, en- 
titled Alexander's Feast. 

2. Every nice ear must (I believe) 
have observed, that in any smooth Eng- 
lish verse of ten syllables, there is natu- 
rally a pause at the fourth, fifth, or sixth 
syllable. It is upon these the ear rests ; 
and upon the judicious change and ma- 



206 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book III. 



nagement of which depends tlie variety 
of versification. For example. 
At the fifth, 

Where'er thy navy | spreads Iier canvass 
wings. 

At the fourth, 
Homage to thee | and peace to all she brings. 

At the sixth, 
Like tracks of leverets | in morning snow. 

Now I fancy, that to preserve an ex- 
act harmony and variety, the pause at 
the 4th or 6th should not be continued 
above three lines together, without the 
interposition of another ; else it will be 
apt to weary the ear with one continued 
tone ; at least, it does mine : that at the 
5th runs quicker, and carries not quite 
so dead a weight, so tires not so much, 
thougli it be continued longer. 

3. Another nicety is in relation to 
expletives, whether words or syllables, 
which are made use of purely to supply 
a vacancy : Do before verbs plural is ab- 
solutely such ; and it is not improbable 
but future refiners may explode did and 
does in the same manner, which are al- 
most always used for the sake of rhyme. 
The same cause has occasioned the pro- 
miscuous use ofi/ou and thou to the same 
person,' which can never sound so grace- 
ful as either one or the other. 

4. I would also object to the irrup- 
tion of Alexandrine verses, of twelve syl- 
lables, which, I think, should never be 
allowed but when some remarkable 
beauty or propriety in them atones for 
the liberty. Mr. Dryden has been too 
free of these, especially in his later 
works. I am of the same opinion as to 
triple rhymes. 

5. I could equally object to the repe- 
tition of the same rhymes within four or 
six lines of each other, as tiresome to 
the ear through their monotony. 

6. Monosyllable lines, unless very 
artfully managed, are stiff or languish- 
ing ; but may be beautiful to express 
melancholy, slowness, or labour. 

7. To come to the hiatus, or gap 
between two words, w^dch is caused by 
two vowels opening on each other (upon 
which you desire me to be particular), I 
tliink the rule in this case is ether to 
use the caesura, or admit the hiatus, just 
as the ear is least shocked by either ; for 

,the csesura sometimes offends the ear 
more than the hiatus itself : and our lan- 
guage is naturally overcharged with con- 



sonants. As for example ; if in this verse, 

The old have int'rest ever in their eye, 
we shall say, to avoid the hiatus, 
Butth' old have int'rest. 

The hiatus which has the worst effect 
is when one word ends with the same 
vowel that begins the following ; and 
next to this, those vowels whose sounds 
come nearest each other are most to be 
avoided. O, A, or U, will bear a more 
full and graceful sound than E, I, or Y. 
I know, some people will think these 
observations trivial : and therefore I am 
glad to corroborate them by some great 
authorities, which I have met with in 
TuUy and Quintilian. In the fourth 
book of Rhetoric to Herennius, are these 
words : " Fugiemus crebras vocaliuni 
concursiones, quee vastam atque hiantem 
reddimt orationem ; ut hoc est, Baccce 
senese amosnissimse impendebant." And 
Quintilian, 1. ix, cap. 4, " Vocalium 
concursus cum accidit, hiat et intersistit, 
et quasi laborat oratio. Pessime longae 
qu£e easdem inter se literas committunt, 
sonabunt ; prsecipuus tamen erit hiatus 
earum quse cavo aut patulo ore efferuntur. 
E plenior litera est, / angustior." But 
he goes on to reprove the excess, on the 
other hand, of being too solicitous in 
this matter, and says, admirably, " Nes- 
cio an neglige ntia in hoc, aut solicitudo 
sit pejor." So likewise Tully (Orat. ad 
Brut.) : " Theopompum reprehendunt, 
quod eas literas tanto opere fugerit, etsi 
idem magister ejus Socrates :" which last 
author, as Turnebus on Quintilian ob- 
serves, has hardly one hiatus in all his 
works. Quintilian tells us, that Tully 
and Demosthenes did not much observe 
this nicety, though Tully himself says, 
in his Orator, " Crebra ista vocum con- 
cursio, quam magna ex parte vitiosam, 
fugit Demosthenes." If I am not mis- 
taken, Malherbe of all the moderns has 
been the most scrupulous in this point ; 
and I think Menage, in his observations 
upon him, says he has not one in his 
poems. To conclude, I believe the hia- 
tus should be avoided with more care in 
poetry than in oratory ; and I would con- 
stantly try to prevent it, unless where the 
cutting it off is more prejudicial to the 
sound than the hiatus itself. I am, &c. 

[Mr. Walsh died at forty-nine years old, in 
the year 1708, the year before the Essay on 
Criticism was printed, which concludes with 
his elogy.] 



Sect. I. 



MODERN, OF LATE DA¥^E. 



207 



LETTER Xin. 

3Ir, Pope to H. Cromzvell, Esq. 

March 18, 1703. 

I BELIEVE it was with me when I left 
the town, as it is with a great many 
men when they leave the world, whose 
loss itself they do not so much regret, as 
that of their friends whom they leave be- 
hind in it. For I do not know one tiling 
for which I can envy London, hut for 
your continuing there. Yet I guess you 
will expect me to recant this expression, 
when I tell you that Sappho (by which 
heathenish name you have christened a 
very orthodox lady) did not accompany 
me into the country. Well, you have 
your lady in tlie town still, and I have 
my heart in the country still, which, be- 
ing wholly unemployed as yet, has the 
more room in it for m.y friends, and does 
not want a comer at your service. You 
have extremely obliged me by your 
frankness and kindness ; and if I have 
abused it by too much freedom on my 
part, I hope you will attribute it to the 
natural openness of my temper, which 
hardly knows how to shew respect where 
itfeels affection . I would love my friend, 
as my mistress, without ceremony ; and 
hope a little rough usage sometimes may 
not be more displeasing to the one than 
it is to the other. 

If you have any curiosity to know in 
what manner I live, or rather lose a life. 
Martial will inform you in one line ; 

prandeo, polo, cano, ludo, lego, cceno, qniesco. 

Every day with me is literally another 
yesterday, for it is exactly the same : it 
has the same business, which is poetry ; 
and the same pleasure, which is idleness. 
A man might indeed pass his time much 
better, but I question if any m.an could 
pass it much easier. If you will visit our 
shades this spring, which I very much 
desire, you may perhaps instruct me to 
manage my game more wisely ; but at 
present I am satisfied to trifle away my 
time any M^ay, rather than let it stick by 
me ; as shop-keepers are glad to be rid 
of those goods at any rate, which would 
otherwise always be lying upon their 
hands. 

Sir, If you wiU favour me sometimes 
with your letters, it will be a great satis- 
faction to me on several accounts ; and 
on this in particular, that it will shew me 



(to my comfort) that even a wise man is 
sometimes very idle ; for so you needs 
must be, when you can find leisure to 
write to your, &c. 

LETTER XIV. 

From the same to the same.. 

April 17, 17w8. 
I HAVE nothing to say to you in this 
letter ; but I was resolved to write to 
tell you so. ^Yhy should not I content 
myself with so many great examples, of 
deep divines, profound casuists, grave 
philosophers ; who have written not let- 
ters ordy, but whole tomes and volumi- 
nous treatises about nothing? Why 
should a fellow like me, who all his life 
does nothing, be ashamed to write no- 
thing ; and that to one who has nothing 
to do but to read it ? But perhaps you 
will say, the whole world has something 
to do, something to talk of, something 
to wish for, something to be employed 
about : but pray, sir, cast up the ac- 
count, put all these things together, and 
Avhat is the sum total but just nothing ? 
I have no more to say, but to desire you 
to give my service (that is nothing) to 
your friends, and to believe that I am 
nothing more than your, &c. 

" Ex nikilo niljit.^'' — Lucu. 

LETTER XV. 

F7'077i the same to the same. 

May 10, 170S. 

You talk of fame and glory, and of the 
great men of antiquity : j)ray tell me, 
what are all your great dead men, but 
so many little living letters ? \Yliat a 
vast reward is here for all the ink wasted 
by writers, and all the blood spilt by 
princes ! There was in old time one 
Severus, a Roman emperor. I dare say 
you never called him by any other name 
in your life : and yet in his days he was 
styled Lucius, Septimius, Severus, Pius, 
Pertinax, Augustus, Parthicus, Adiabe- 
nicus, Arabicus, Maximus, and what 
not ! ^Yliat a prodigious waste of letters 
has time made ! What a number have 
here dropt off, and left the poor surviv- 
ing seven unattended ! For my own part, 
four are all I have to care for ; and I 
will be judged by you if any man could 
live in less compass ? Well, for the future 
1 will drown all high thoughts in the 



208 



JELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book 111, 



lethe of cowslip-wine ; as for fame, re- 
nown, reputation, take them, critics ! 

Tradam protervis in Mare Cr'tlicum 
Vends. 

If ever I seek for immortality liere, 
may I be damned ; for there is not so 
much danger in a poet's being damned : 

Damnation follows death in other men, 
33ut your damn'd poet lives and writes again. 



LETTER XVL 

Mr. Pope to H. Cromwell, Esq. 

November 1, 1708. 
I HAVE been so well satisfied with the 
country ever since I saw you, that 1 have 
not once thought of the town, nor in- 
quired of any one in it besides Mr. Wy- 
cherley and yourself. And from him I 
understand of your journey this summer 
into Leicestershire ; from whence I guess 
you are returned by this time to your old 
apartment in the widow's corner, to 
your old business of comparing critics, 
and reconciling commentators, and to 
your old diversions of losing a game at 
piquet with the ladies, and half a play, 
or a quarter of a play at the theatre : where 
you are none of the malicious audience, 
but the chief of amorous spectators ; and 
for the infirmity of one sense*, which 
there, for the most part, could only serve 
to disgust you, enjoy the vigour of an- 
other, which ravishes you. 

You know, when one sense is supprest, 
It but retires into the rest, 

according to the poetical, not the learn- 
ed, Dodwell ; who has done one thing 
worthy of eternal memory ; wrote two 
lines in his life that are not nonsense ! 
So you have the advantage of being en- 
tertained with all the beauty of the 
boxes, without being troubled with any 
of the dulness of the stage. You are so 
good a critic, that it is the greatest hap- 
piness of the modern poets that you do 
not hear their works ; and next, that 
you are not so arrant a critic as to damn 
them (like the rest) without hearing. 
But now I talk of those critics, I have 
good news to tell you concerning myself, 
for which I expect you should congratu- 
late with me : it is that, beyond all 
my expectations, and far above my de- 

* His hearing. 



merits, I have been. most mercifully re- 
prieved by the sovereign power of Jacob 
Tonson, from being brought forth to 
public punishment ; and respited from 
time to time from the hands of those bar- 
barous executioners of the Muses, whom 
I was just now speaking of. It often 
happens, that guilty poets, like other 
guilty criminals, when once they are 
known and proclaimed, deliver them- 
selves into the hands of justice, only to 
prevent others from doing it more to 
their disadvantage ; and not out of any 
ambition to spread their fame, by being 
executed in the face of the world, which 
is a fame but of short continuance. That 
poet v/ere a happy man who could but 
obtain a grant to preserve his for ninety- 
nine years ; for those names very rarely 
last so many days, which are planted 
either in Jacob Tonson's, or the ordinary 
of Newgate's Miscellanies. 

I have an hundred things to say to^ 
you, which shall be deferred till I have 
the happiness of seeing you in town, for 
tlie season now draws on that invites 
every body thither. Some of them I 
had communicated to you by letters be- 
fore this, if I had not been uncertain 
where you passed your time the last sea- 
son ; so much fine vvxather, I doubt not, 
has given you all the pleasure you could 
desire from the country, and your own 
thoughts the best company in it. But 
nothing could allure Mr. Wycherley to 
our forest ; he continued (as you told me 
long since he would) an obstinate lover 
of the town, in spite of friendship and 
fair weather. Therefore, henceforward, 
to all those considerable qualities I know 
you possessed of, I shall add that of pro- 
phecy. But I still believe Mr. Wycher- 
ley's intentions were good, and am satis- 
fied that he promises nothing but with 
a real design to perform it : how much 
soever his other excellent qualities are 
above my imitation, his sincerity, Ihope, 
is not ; and it is with the utmost that 
I am, sir, &c. 

LETTER XVII. 

From the same to the same. 

Jan. 22, 1708-9. 
I HAD sent you the inclosed papers t 
before this time, but that I intended to 

f This was a translation of the first book of 
Statius, done when the author was but fourteen 



Sect. L 



MODERN, OF LATE DATE. 



200 



liave brought them myself, and after- 
wards coiild find no opportunity of send- 
ing- them without suspicion of their mis- 
carrying ; not that they are of the least 
yalue, but for fear somebody might be 
foolish enough to imagine them so, and 
inquisitive enough to discover those 
faults which 1 (by your help) would cor- 
rect. I therefore beg the favour of you 
to let them go no farther than your cham- 
ber, and to be very free of your remarks 
in the margins, not only in regard to 
the accuracy, but to the fidelity of the 
translation ; which I have not had time 
to compare with its original. And I 
desire you to be the more severe, as it is 
much more criminal for me to make 
another speak nonsense, than to do it in 
my own proper person. For your better 
help in comparing it, it may be fit to tell 
you, that this is not an entire version of 
the first book. There is an omission 
from the 168th line — " Jam murmu- 
ra serpunt plebis Agenoreae" — to the 
312th — " Interea patriis olim vagus 

exui ab oris" (between these '^ two, 

Statins has a description of the council 
of the gods, and a speech of Jupiter ; 
which contains a peculiar beauty and 
majesty ; and were left out for no other 
reason, but because the consequence of 
this machine appears not till the second 
book.) The translation goes on from 
thence to the words " Hie vero ambo- 
bus rabiem fortuna cruentam," where 
there is an odd account of a battle at 
fisty-cuffs between the two princes, on 
a very slight occasion, and at a time 
when, one would think, the fatigue of 
their journey, in so tempestuous a night, 
might have rendered them very unfit 
for such a scuffle. This I had actually 
translated, but was very ill satisfied with 
it, even in my own words, to which an 
author cannot but be partial enough of 
conscience : it was therefore omitted in 
this copy, which goes on above eighty 
lines farther, at the words — " Hie pri- 
mum lustrare oculis," &c. to the end 
of the book. 

You will find, I doubt not, that Sta- 
tius was none of the discreetest poets, 
though he- was the best versifier next 
Virgil : in the very beginning he un- 

years o](], as appears by an advertisement be- 
fore the first edition of it, in a miscellany pub- 
lished by B. Lintot, 8vo, 1711. 

* These he since translated, and they are ex- 
tant in the printed version. 



luckily betrays his ignorance in the rules 
of Poetry (which Horace had already 
taught the Romans), when he asks his 
Muse where to begin his Thebaid, and 
seems to doubt whether it should not 
be " ab ovo Ledaeo." When he comes 
to the scene of his poem, and the prize 
in dispute between the brothers, he 
gives us a very mean opinion of it — 
" Pugna est de paupere regno." Very 
different from the conduct of his master, 
Virgil, who at the entrance of his poem 
informs his reader of the greatness of its 
subject — " Tantse molis erat Romanam 
condere gentem" [Bossu on Epic Poe- 
try] . There are innumerable little faults 
in him ; among which I cannot but take 
notice of one in this book, where speak- 
ing of the implacable hatred of the bro- 
thers, he says, " the whole world would 
be too small a prize to repay so much 
impiety." 

Quid si peferetur crimine ianto 
Limes uterque poli, quern Sol emissus Eco 
Cardine, quem porta vergens prospectat Ibera f 

This was pretty well, one would think, 
already ; but he goes on, 

Qnasque procul terras obliquo sidere tangit 
Avius, aut Borea gelidas, madidive iepentes 
Igne Noti ? 

After all this, what could a poet think of 
but Heaven itself for the prize ? but vdiat 
follows is astonishing : 

S.'/ffZ si Tijrlce Fhrygiceve sub unum 
Convectentur opes 9 

I do not remember to have met vvith so 
great a fall in any ancient author what- 
soever. I should not have insisted so 
much oil the faults of this poet, if I did 
not hope you would take the same free- 
dom with, and revenge it upon, his 
translator. I shall be extremely glad if 
the reading this can be any amusement 
to you, the rather because I had the dis- 
satisfaction to hear you have been con- 
fined to your chamber by an illness, 
which, I fear, Avas as troublesome a cbm- 
panion as I have sometimes been in the 
same place ; where, if ever you found 
any pleasure in my company, it must 
surely have been that which most men 
take in observing the faults and follies 
of another : a pleasure which, you see, 
I take care to give you, even in my ab- 
sence. 

If you will oblige me at your leisure 
P 



210 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book III 



with tlie confirmation of your recovery, 
under your own hand, it will be ex- 
tremely grateful to me ; for next to the 
pleasure of seeing- my friends, is that 1 
take in hearing from them : and in this 
particular I am beyond all acknowledg- 
ments obliged to our friend Mr. Wy- 
cherley. 1 know I need no apology to 
you for speaking of him, whose example, 
as I am proud of following in all things, 
so in nothing more than in professing 
myself, like him, your, &c. 



LETTER XVIII. 

Mr. Pope to H. Cromivell, Esq, 

March 7, 17t;9. 
You had long before this time been 
troubled with a letter from me, but that 
I deferred it till I could send you either 
the Miscellany'^, or my continuation of 
the version of Statins. The first I ima- 
gined you might have had before now ; 
but since the contrary has happened, 
you may draw this moral from it, that 
authors in general are more ready to 
wi'ite nonsense than booksellers are to 
publish it. I had I know not what ex- 
traordinary flux of rhyme upon me for 
three days together, in which time all the 
verses you see added, have been written ; 
which I tell you, that you may more 
freely be severe upon them. It is a 
mercy 1 do not assault you with a number 
of original sonnets and epigrams, which 
our modern bards put forth in the spring- 
time, in as great abundance as trees do 
blossoms, a very few whereof ever come 
to be fruit, and please no longer than 
just in their birth. They make no less 
haste to bring their flowers of wit to the 
press, than gardeners to bring their other 
flowers to the market, which if they 
cannot get off their hands in the morn- 
ing are sure to die before night. Tlius 
the same reason that furnishes Covent- 
garden with those nosegays you so de- 
light in , supplies the Muses , Mercury, and 
British Apollo (not to say Jacob's Mis- 
cellanies) with verses. And it is the 
happiness of this age, that the modern 
invention of printing poems for pence a- 

* Jacob Tonson's sixth volume of Poetical 
Miscellanies, in which Mr. Pope's Pastorals, 
and some versions of Homer and Chaucer, were 
first printPil 



piece, has brought the nosegays of Par- 
nassus to bear the same price ; whereby 
the public- spirited Mr. Henry Hills, of 
Blackfriars, has been the cause of great 
ease and singular comfort to all the 
learned, who, never over-abounding in 
transitory coin, should not be discon- 
tented (methinks) even though poems 
were distributed gratis about the streets, 
like Bunyan's sermons and other pious 
treatises, usually published in a like vo- 
lume and character. 

The time now drawing nigh, when 
you used with Sappho to cross the water 
in an evening to Spring-garden, I hope 
you will have a fair opportunity of ra- 
vishing her ; — I mean only (as Old Fox 
in the Plain Dealer says) through the ear, 
v/ith your well-penned verses. I wish 
you all the pleasure which the season and 
the nymph can afford ; the best company, 
the best coffee, and the best news you can 
desire ; and what more to wish you than 
this, I do not know ; unless it be a great 
deal of patience to read and examine the 
verses I send you : I promise you in re- 
turn a great deal of deference to your 
judgment, and an extraordinary obe- 
dience to your sentiments for the future 
(to which you know I have been some- 
times a little refractory). If you will 
please to begin where you left off last, 
and mark the margin, as you have done 
in the pages immediately before (which 
you will find corrected to your sense 
since your last perusal), you will ex- 
tremely oblige me and improve my 
translation. Besides those places v/hicli 
may deviate from the sense of the au- 
thor, it would be very kind in you to 
observe any deficiencies in the diction 
or numbers. The hiatus in particular I 
would avoid as much as possible, to 
which you are certainly in the right to 
be a professed enemy ; though I confess, 
I could not think it possible at all times 
to be avoided by any writer, till I found 
by reading Malherbe lately, that there 
is scarce any throughout his poems. I 
thought your observation true enough 
to be passed into a rule, but not a rule 
without exceptions, nor that it ever had 
been reduced to practice : but this ex- 
ample of one of the most correct and 
best of their poets has undeceived me, 
and confirms your opinion very strongly, 
and much more than Mr. Dryden's au- 
thority, who, though he made it a rule, 
seldom observed it. Your, &c. 



Sect. I. 



MODERN, OF I.ATE DATE, 



211 



LETTER XIX. 

From the same to the same. 

June 10, 1709. 

I HAVE received part of the version of 
Statins, and return you my thanks for 
your remarks, which I think to he just, 
except where you cry out (like one in 
Horace's Art of Poetry) " pulchre, bene, 
recte ! " There I have some fears you are 
often, if not always, in the wrong. 

One of your objections, namely on that 
passage. 

The rest revolviiig j^ears sliail ripen into fate, 

may be well groimded, in relation to its 
not being the exact sense of the words — 
*' Certo reiiqua ordine ducam*." But 
the duration of the action of Statius's 
poem may as well be expected against as 
many things besides in him (which I 
wonder Bossu has not observed) : for in- 
stead of confining his narration to one 
year, it is manifestly exceeded in the very 
first two books : the narration begins 
with (Edipus's prayer to the Fury to pro- 
mote discord betwixt his sons ; after- 
ward the poet expressly describes their 
entering into the agreement of reigning 
a year by turns ; and Polynices takes his 
flight from Thebes on his brother's re- 
fusal to resign the throne. All this is in 
the first book : in the next, Tydeus is sent 
ambassador to Eteocles, and demands his 
resignation in these terms, 

Astriferum velox jam circulus orbem 
Tor sit, et amissce redierunt montih'js umbrae, 
Ex quo frater inops, ignota per oppida tristes 
Exul agit casus. 

But Bossu himself is mistaken in one 
particular, relating to the commence- 
ment of the action ; saying in book ii. 
chap. 8, that Statins opens it with Eu- 
ropa's rape ; whereas the poet at most 
only deliberates whether he should or 
not: 

Unde jubetis 
Ire, Decs ? gentisne canam prbnordiu dirce, 
Sidonios raptus ? 5)C. 

but then expressly passes all this with a 
" longa retro series" and says. 

Limes mihi carminis esto ^ 
Qildipodce confusa domus. 

Indeed there are numberless particulars 
* See the first book of Statins, v. 392. 



blameworthy in our author, which I have 
tried to soften in the version : 

Dubiamque jugo fragor impulit CEten 
In laius, et geminis vix fiuctibus obsiitit Isthmus 

is most extravagantly hyperbolical ; nor 
did I ever read a greater piece of tauto- 
logy than 

Vacua cum solus in a-ila 
liespiceres jus orane tuuni, cunctos(!)ae minores, 
Et nusquam par stare caput. 

In the journey of Polynices is some 
geographical error : 

In mediis audit duo litora campis 

could hardly be : for the Isthmus of Co- 
rinth is full five miles over :' and " ca- 
ligentes abrupto sole Mycenas," is not 
consistent with what he tells us, in lib. 
iv. line 305, *' that those of Mycense 
came not to the war at this time, be- 
cause they were then in confusion by the 
divisions of the brothers, Atreus and 
Thyestes." 'Now from the raising the 
Greek army against Thebes, back to the 
time of this journey of Polynices, is (ac- 
cording to Statius's own account) three 
years. Yours, &c. 



LETTER XX. 

From the same to the same. 

July 17, 1709. 
The morning after I parted from you, 
I found myself (as I had prophesied) all 
alone, in an uneasy stage-coach : a dole- 
ful change from that agreeable company 
I enjoyed the night before ! without the 
least hope of entertainment but from my 
last recourse in such cases, a book. I 
then began to enter into acquaintance 
with your moralists, and had just re- 
ceived from them some cold consolation 
for the inconveniences of this life, and 
the uncertainty of human affairs : when 
I perceived my vehicle to stop, and heard 
from the side of it the dreadful ncAvs of 
a sick woman preparing to enter it. It 
is not easy to guess at my mortification ; 
but being so well fortified with philoso- 
phy, I stood resigned with a stoical con- 
stancy to endure the worst of evils, a 
sick woman. I was a little comforted 
to find, by her voice and dress, that she 
was young and a gentlewoman : but no 
sooner was her hood removed, but I saw 
one of the finest faces \ ever beheld, and 
P2 



212 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book III. 



to increase my surprise, heard her salute 
me by my name. I never had more rea- 
son to accuse nature for making me 
short-sighted than now, when I could 
not recollect I had ever seen those fair 
eyes which kneW me so well, and was 
utterly at a loss how to address myself ; 
till with a great deal of simplicity and 
innocence she let me know (even before 
I discovered my ignorance) that she was 
the daughter of one in our neighbour- 
hood lately married, who, having been 
consulting her physicians in town, was 
returning into the country, to try what' 
good air and a husband could do to re- 
cover her. My father, you must know, 
has sometimes recommended the study 
of physic to me, but I never had any am- 
bition to be a doctor till this instant. I 
ventured to prescribe some fruit (which 
I happened to have in the coach) which 
being forbidden her by her doctors, she 
had the more inclination to. In short, 
I tempted, and she ate ; nor was I more 
like the Devil than she like Eve. Hav- 
ing the good success of the foresaid 
tempter before my eyes, 1 put on the 
gallantry of the old serpent, and, in spite 
of my evil form, accosted her with all. 
the gaiety 1 was master of; which had 
so good an effect, that in less than an 
hour she grew pleasant ; her colour re- 
turned, and she was pleased to say my 
prescription had wrought an immediate 
cure. In a word, I had the pleasantest 
journey imaginable. 

Thus far (methinks) my letter has 
something of the air of romance, though 
it be true. But I hope you will look on 
what follows as the greatest of truths, 
that I think myself extremely obliged by 
you in all points ; especially for your 
kind and honourable information and 
advice in a matter of the utmost concern 
to me, which I shall ever acknowledge 
as the highest proof at once of your 
friendship, justice, and sincejity. At 
the same time be assured, that gentle- 
man we spoke of shall never, by, any al- 
teration in me, discover my knowledge 
of his mistake ; the hearty forgiving of 
which is the only kind of return I can 
possibly make him for so many favours : 
and 1 may derive this pleasure at least 
from it, that whereas I must otherwise 
have been a little uneasy to know my in- 
capacity of returning his obligations, I 
may now, by bearing his frailty, exercise 
my gratitude and friendship more than 



himself either is, of perhaps ever will be 
sensible of. 

Ille meos, primus qui me sibijunxit, amores 
Abstulit: ille habeat secum, servetque sepulchro ! 

But in one thing, I must confess you 
have yourself obliged me more than any 
man ; which is, that you have shewed me 
many of my faults , to which as you are 
the more an implacable enemy, by so 
much the more are you a kind friend to 
me. I could be proud, in revenge, to 
find a few slips in your verses, which I 
read in London, and since in the coun- 
try, with more application and pleasure : 
the thoughts are very just, and you are 
sure not to let them suffer by the versi- 
fication. If you would oblige me with 
the trust of any thing of yours, I should 
be glad to execute any commissions you 
would give me concerning them. I am 
here so perfectly at leisure, that nothing 
would be so agreeable an entertainment 
to me ; but if you will not afford me 
that, do not deny me at least the sa- 
tisfaction of your letters as long as we 
are absent, if you would not have him 
very unhappy, who is very sincerely 
your, &c. 

Having a vacant space here, I will fill 
it with a short Ode on Solitude, which I 
found yesterday by great accident, and 
which I find, by the date, was written 
when I was not twelve years old ; that 
you may perceive how long I have con- 
tinued in my passion for a rural life, and 
in the same employments of it. 

Happy the man, whose wish and care 

A few paternal acres bound, 
Content to breathe his native air 

On his own ground. 

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread. 

Whose flocks supply him with attire. 
Whose trees in summer yield him shade. 

In winter fire. 

Blest, who can unconcern'dly find 

Hours, days, and years slide soft away, 
In health of body, peace of mind. 

Quiet by day. 

Sound sleep by night; study and ease 
Together mix'd ; sweet recreation 
And innocence, which most does please, 

With meditation. 

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown. 
Thus, unlamented, let me die. 
Steal from the world, and not a stone 

Tell where I lie. 



Sect. I. 



M O D E R N, O F LATE DATE. 



^13 



].ETTER XXI. 

Mr. Pope to H. Cro7muell, Esq. 

Aug 19, 1709. 
If I were to write to you as often as I 
think of you, my letters would be as bad 
as a rent-charge ; but though the one be 
but too little for your good nature, the 
other would be but too much for your 
quiet, which is one blessing good-nature 
should indispensably receive from man- 
kind in return for those many it gives. 
I have been informed of late, how much 
1 am indebted to that quality of yours, 
in speaking well of me in my absence, 
the only thing by which you prove your- 
self no wit nor critic ; though indeed 
I have often thought, that a friend will 
shew just as much indulgence (and no 
more) to my faults when I am absent, as 
he does severity to them when I am pre- 
sent. To be very frank with you, sir, I 
must own, that where I received so much 
civility at first, I could hardly have ex- 
pected so much sincerity afterwards. 
But now I have only to wish, that the 
last were but equal to the first ; and that 
as you have omitted nothing to oblige 
me, so you would omit nothing to im- 
prove me. 

I caused an acquaintance of mine to 
inquire twice of your welfare, by whom 
I have been informed, that you have left 
your speculative angle in the widow's 
coffee-house, and bidding adieu for some 
time to all the rehearsals, reviews, ga- 
zettes, &c. have marched off int<) Lincoln- 
shire. Thus I find you vary your life in 
the scene at least, though not in the ac- 
tion ; for though life, for the most part, 
like an old play, be still the same, yet 
now and then a new scene may make it 
more entertaining. As for myself, I 
would not have my life a very regular 
play, let it be a good merry farce, 
a-G — d's name, and a fig for the critical 
unities ! For the generality of men, a 
true modern life is like a true modern 
play, neither tragedy, comedy, nor farce, 
nor one nor all of these ; every actor is 
much better known by his having the 
same face, than by keeping the same 
character ; for we change our minds as 
often as they can their parts ; and he 
who was yesterday Caesar, is to-day sir 
John Daw. So that one might ask the 
same question of a modern life, that 
Rich did of a modern play : " Pray do 



me the favour, sir, to inform me, — Is 
this your^tragedy or your comedy ?" 

I have dwelt the longer upon this, be- 
cause I persuade myself it might be use- 
ful, at a time when we have no theatre, 
to divert ourselves at this great one. 
Here is a glorious standing comedy of 
fools, at which every man is heartily 
merry, and thinks himself an unconcerned 
spectator. This (to our singular comfort) 
neither my lord chamberlain nor the 
queen herself, can ever shut up, or 
silence; — while that of Drury (alas I) 
lies desolate in the profoundest peace ; 
and the melancholy prospect of the 
nymphs yet lingering about its beloved 
avenues, appears no less moving than 
that of the Trojan dames lamenting over 
their ruined Ilium ? What now can they 
hope, dispossessed of their ancient seats, 
but to serve as captives to the insulting 
victors of the Haymarket ? Ti\e afflicted 
subjects of France do not, in our Post- 
man, so grievously deplore the obstinacy 
of their arbitrary monarch, as these 
perishing people of Drury, the obdurate 
heart of that Pharaoh, Rich, who, like 
him, disdains all proposals of peace and 
accommodation. Several libels have been 
secretly affixed to the great gates of his 
imperial palace in Bridges-street ; and 
a memorial, representing the distresses 
of these persons, has been accidentally 
dropt (as we are credibly informed by a 
person of quality) out of his first mini- 
ster the chief box-keeper's pocket, at a 
late conference of the said person of 
quality and others, on the part of the 
confederates, and his theatrical majesty 
on his own part. Of this you may expect 
a copy, as soon as it shall be transmitted 
to us from a good hand. As for the late 
congress, it is here reported, that it 
has not been wholly ineffectual ; but this 
wants confirmation ; yet we cannot but 
hope the concurring prayers and tears 
of so many wretched ladies may induce 
this haughty prince to reason. I am, &c. 

LETTER XXII. 

From the same to the same 

Oct. 19, 1709. 
I BiAY truly say, I am more obliged to 
you this summer than to any of my ac- 
quaintance ; for had it not been for the 
two kind letters you sent me, I had been 
perfectly '* oblitusque meorum, oblivis- 



214 



ELEGANT EPISTLES. 



Book IIL 



cendtis et illis." The only companions 
I had were those Muses, of whom Tully 
says, " Adolescentiam aliint, senectutem 
oblectant, secundas res ornant, adversis 
perfugium ac solatium praebent, delec- 
tant domi, non impediunt fork, pern oc- 
tant nobiscum, peregrinantur, rustican- 
tur : " which is indeed as much as ever I 
expected from them ; for the Muses, if 
you take them as companions, are very 
pleasant and agreeable ; but whoever 
should be forced to live or depend upon 
them would find himself in a very bad 
condition. That quiet, which Cowley 
calls the Companion of Obscurity, was not 
wanting to me, unless it was interrupted 
by those fears you so justly guess I had 
for our friend's welfare. It is extremely 
kind in you to tell me the news you 
heard of him ; and you have delivered 
me from more anxiety than he imagines 
me capable of on his account, as I am 
convinced by his long silence. However, 
the love of some things rewards itself, as 
of virtue, and of Mr. Wycherley. I am 
surprised at the danger you tell me he 
has been in ; and must agree with you 
that our nation must have lost in him as 
much wit and probity as would have re- 
mained (for aught I know) in the rest of 
it. My concern for his friendship will 
excuse me (since I know you honour 
him so much, and since you know I love 
liim above all men) if I vent a part of 
my uneasiness to you, and tell you that 
there has not been wanting one, to in- 
sinuate malicious untruths of me to Mr. 
Wycherley, which, I fear, may have had 
some effect u